White Bean Soup With Smoked Ham Shank
In this classic Southern recipe, smoked ham shanks make a tasty broth for the white beans, which get a boost from fresh and dried herbs.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 1tablespoon butter
- 1onion (diced)
- 4cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 ½pounds ham shanks or ham hocks, or 1 meaty smoked ham bone
- 2cups chicken broth
- 4cups cold water
- 2bay leaves
- 1pound dried cannellini beans (or white kidney beans)
- ½teaspoon dried oregano
- 1teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1 sprig fresh rosemary)
- ¼teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- ½cup fresh or canned diced tomatoes (drained)
- ¼cup fresh parsley (chopped)
Step 1Gather the ingredients.
Step 2Melt the butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven or any heavy pot with a lid.
Step 3Saute the onions and garlic in the butter until translucent.
Step 4Add the ham shanks, broth, water, and bay leaves to the pot and bring to a boil.
Step 5Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
Step 6Uncover the pot and add the beans, oregano, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.
Step 7Cover pot, bring back to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. More liquid can be added at any time if the beans soak up all the existing liquid as they cook.
Step 8Uncover the pot, taste, and add salt if needed. (The ham might have been salty enough.)
Step 9Add the tomatoes, cover, and simmer for another 45 minutes, or until the beans are tender and creamy (time will vary depending on the kind of beans you use).
Step 10Remove the ham shank to a cutting board and slice off chunks of meat from the bone.
Step 11Spoon the soup into a large serving bowl or individual bowls. Top with the ham pieces and sprinkle with fresh parsley.