Sunday, December 11, 2016

White beans soup with smoked ham

Cut the onion into medium (1/2-inch) dice. Peel the carrots and cut them and the celery into approximately 1/2-inch pieces. Coarsely chop the garlic. Place a skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, swirling it to coat the pan. Add the onions, carrots, celery, cloves, and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the onions begin to appear translucent.
Place the vegetables along with the ham hocks, beans, and chicken stock in a large (6-quart or larger) slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours. (Note: The original recipe says to cook for 8 hours. However, I tested the beans after 6 hours and they were perfectly done. The cooking time will depend on your slow cooker.) 
About 1 hour before the cooking time is completely, remove the ham hocks from the slow cooker and let them cool until they can be handled. Remove and discard the bones, fat, and skin from the ham hocks. Chop or shred the meat and return it to the slow cooker with the beans. Add the salt and continue cooking until the beans are completely tender.
Garnish individual servings with diced fresh tomato, diced red onion, and/or snipped chives

Enjoy it!