Ham Hock & White Bean Soup

I am a soup fanatic, in case you haven't noticed. There is something about that warming feeling that you get from soup--and the smell as it cooks just warms my soul! It's one of my favorite foods to eat and it's one of my favorite foods to make.

I once heard that you can tell a lot about a cook by the way their soups taste, and if that is true, well, I hope I measure up! I always get lots of compliments on my soups anyway. Recently, I had a little dinner party, and I served this soup. Everyone loved it so much there was no soup left in the pot by the end of the meal--an accomplishment considering how often I make too much (especially when it comes to soups!)

If you have every gotten a ham hock and wondered what the heck to do with it, this is a great recipe that will satisfy a crowd!

Get your ham hock ready by doing nothing at all! Don't remove that skin--it's packed with a ton of flavor for your soup... same goes for the fat. 

In a large soup pot (I used my enameled cast iron one) place your ham hock, 10 cups of water, basil, oregano, and minced garlic. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let her simmer for about an hour. 
You are basically making your stock and soup all in the same pot. 

Meanwhile, I like to prep my veggies..... 

The usual suspects join in this soup: carrots, celery, and of course onion (not pictured) 

I bought three cans of beans, but you only need two 15.5 ounce cans. However, stacking cans and taking a picture is always a good time! 

After the hour of simmering and such, you can add your onion, celery, and carrots. 
This is also when you will want to add 4 dashes of cayenne pepper, a palmful of salt, and pepper 

And don't forget yer beans! Drained and rinsed, of course. 

Bring it all to a boil, and then cover and let it simmer at least another hour. 

When the ham hock is really tender, you will want to remove it from the soup pot, and remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones (ham hocks are a one shot deal) and shred the meat into pieces for eatin' 

You might already know, I like my soups to go for a good long while, so I generally start them about noon or 1pm for a 7pm dinner so those flavors can really settle 

Here she blows--the finished product! 
Remember that before you serve, you'll want to taste and adjust your seasonings, if need be--sometimes you'll need a bit more salt or pepper. 

Time: 2 hours, more if ya got it  |  Serves 6  |  Level: Easy 

You Will Need:

1 ham hock 
10 cups water 
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (depending on your love for garlic, of course) 
palmful of salt, more to taste 
pepper to taste 
2 carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 large onion, diced
2 15.5 oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 dashes cayenne pepper


In a heavy soup pot add your ham hock, water, basil, oregano, and garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and keep at a simmer for one hour.

While the soup is simmering, cut your veggies up and then set aside until the hour's up

When the hour is up, add your veggies to the pot along with your salt, pepper, cayenne, and beans. Bring it back to a boil and then reduce heat again, cover and simmer another hour.

After the second hour, check to be sure that the broth is flavorful. If you find it lacking, add a touch more salt and pepper and perhaps even a little more cayenne, if you like. Remove your ham hock from the pot. and remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and shred the meat into bite sized pieces. (I like to use two forks to accomplish this task) Return the meat to the pot.

At this point, I like to let my soup simmer until it's ready to serve. You can also make this soup an entire day ahead of time. If you make your soup a day ahead, remove it from the heat and bring it to room temperature before refrigerating it.

Serve with homemade rolls! 

1 comment:

  1. Hi-- I just found your blog today and I made this soup tonight for dinner-- very yummy!! :)