Today was COLD! The dogs didn’t care, they still wanted to play. Me on the other hand, I love warmth! To combat the cold today, a big pot of bean soup sounded perfect!

Bean soup

  • 1lb great northern beans, soaked per bag instructions. I use the quick method: cover beans with water, bring to a boil, cover pot, remove from heat and let sit until desired consistency. Beans should be soft but not mushy
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 small ham hock
  • 4 C chicken stock
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 TB Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Plum tomato, diced for garnish

In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat, add onion, celery, carrot and garlic; sauté just until soft.  Add beans, ham hock, chicken broth and seasonings. I use a light hand with the salt to begin with as the ham will add a delicious salty, smoky flavor. Cover, bring to a simmer and let it work for several hours.  Remove ham hock, shred meat from bone and return to pot for 5-10 mins. Check broth for desired flavor, add more salt/pepper if needed. Laddle into bowls and garnish top with diced plum tomatoes. Serve with warm crusty bread.