This is my absolute favorite time of year – when it’s finally cool enough to eat warm soups, and virtually everywhere you go, you find a pumpkin flavored food or beverage. I love fall. I live in Houston and it takes a bit longer to get that cool weather down here, so when the first cold front came through, I ran over to whole foods and bought the ingredients to make this recipe and I can’t express how excited I was 🙂 Ham and bean soup just has a special place in my heart 🙂 I love fall, did I say that already? Anyways, this is a soup my mom has made for me for I don’t even know how long so I don’t really have a recipe per-say. You can alter this a bunch of different ways as long as you follow a few different guidelines which also makes this an amazing recipe. Yay Fall weather!!!
1 smoked ham hock, chopped (or smoked turkey leg, either will give you the smokey amazing flavor)
1 large container of low sodium chicken or vegetable stock (32 oz)
1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 cups of Beans – I use as many diff. types as I possibly can (Great northern beans, Cannellini beans, Fava Beans, Green split peas, Navy beans, black french lentils, red lentils, pretty much any bean if you are catching my drift…)
1 serrano pepper
1 bunch of fresh Kale
6-8 cloves of garlic, chopped
Salt, pepper to taste
In a large pot, pour the beans, ham hock, garlic, onion, and pepper in. Pour in the stock and enough water to cover them up. Bring this to a boil, season, and simmer for 2 hours. (Make sure if you are using lentils, add these in during the last 25 min of cooking as they take much less time). You need to monitor and stir this about every 20 min or so, and add water as you go to keep the beans and ham covered. About 5 minutes before the soup is done, throw in the kale and let it steam.
*There are many different substitutions you can use in this recipe – from using different vegetables, different beans, stocks, etc. Play around with it!