Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins
A pretty, flavourful and hearty soup with lovely texture. Great with some crusty bread on a cold day. Tastes best with homemade stock but you can substitute store-bought or boullion for a quick and easy soup. The beans as well can be switched and swapped for what you like, or what you have. Cooking time does not include time to make the broth, or to cool it.
For the stock
- 1 ham hocks or 1 ham bone
- 2 medium onions
- 1 carrot
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon peppercorn
For the soup
- 10 cups ham stock
- 4 cups onions, diced
- 2 cups celery, diced
- 2 cups carrots, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, diced fine
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups cooked ham, diced (or the ham from the hock, bone)
- 1 (540 ml) can black beans
- 1 (540 ml) can beans (can of 'mixed bean medely', or a total of four cups mixed cooked beans)
- 1 (796 ml) can diced tomatoes (or diced tomato with italian herbs, if available)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon italian seasoning mix
- salt and pepper
- For the Stock:.
- Put the ham hock or ham bone in a large heavy-bottomed stock pot. Heat on medium, flipping often, until the skin caramelizes (browns) on all sides.
- Coarsely chunk the vegetables and add them to the pot. Stir for a few moments, or until the you can smell the aroma of the vegetables.
- Add the bay leaf and peppercorns.
- Fill the pot with cold clean water. Turn the heat up to medium high.
- When the water boils, reduce the heat until you have a nice steady simmer. Simmer, covered, for 2-3 hours or until the broth is rich and flavourful.
- Remove the hock; set aside. You can remove the meat from the bone and use in the soup, if you like. (makes for good mild baby food, or save for making pet treats)
- Pour the stock through a mesh strainer lined with one ply of regular kitchen paper towel into a large shallow pan (roasting pans work well for this). Allow to cool (no more than 2 hours) and then refridgerate to completely cool. Your stock should have a jelly-like consistancy with a layer of fat on top which is easy to remove. Remove the fat.
- For the Soup:.
- Heat the olive oil on medium in a large, heavy bottomed soup pot.
- Add onions, celery, and carrot. Saute until veggies are getting tender and onion starts to become translucent. Add garlic.
- Carefully add the ham stock (reserve two cups), or the stock of your choice. Bring to a gentle boil.
- Mix the flour with the reserve stock until smooth and lump free. With the stock in the pot at a gentle boil, add the flour mixture. Stir vigorously to incorporate. Reduce heat to a very gentle simmer.
- Rinse the beans and add to the pot.
- Add the tomato. You can add the liquid from the canned tomato for more soup volume, or drain and add just the tomato chunks to preserve a clearer broth.
- Stir in the spices. Simmer for a while, taste, and adjust spices accordingly.
- Serve and enjoy. (Tastes even better the next day).