Hearty, thick soup that's a perfect something to do with your leftover holiday ham and bones. Use two bones with plenty of meat on them instead of the ham hocks. I make it every time we have two ham bones in the freezer and once I take most of the meat off, the dogs get the bones for a special treat, so they love when I make this too! Found it on the Food Network site, but I've tweaked it a bit.
- 2 lbs navy beans, picked over, rinsed, and drained
- 10 -15 sprigs parsley
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme (I use rosemary instead)
- 1 -2 bay leaf, depending on size
- 2 large smoked ham hocks (or ham bones)
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (or 2 small)
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 8 cups cold water
- 1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- butter (to garnish)
- Put beans in a large saucepan and cover with 2 inches of cold water.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and summer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour, then drain.
- Tie herbs into a bundle or wrap in a square of cheesecloth.
- In a large pot, combine herbs, beans, ham, onions, carrots, garlic, and water.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 1-2 hours or until the beans are tender.
- Turn off heat, remove ham and allow to cool, then cut into cubes.
- Remove herbs and discard.
- Puree about 3 cups or beans with some of the liquid. (I like my stick blender for this, just be careful because it is super hot!).
- Stir puree and meat back into the remaining soup.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Put in bowls, top with a pat of butter, and serve.
This is a very tasty soup - I used leftover ham steak instead of ham hocks so I subbed beef stock for the water because it would not have the benefit of the ham bone to make a rich soup - It worked well. I made it two days before I wanted to seve it and kept it in the fridge to allow the flavors to mellow.