- 1 lb dry of Great Northern beans—(cooked)
- 3-4 quarts of stock (I use chicken for ham soup because I am a heathen)
- 2-3 lbs of smoked ham hocks or shanks
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (I know, right?)
- 1/3 cup Sake (Not being pretentious, I was out of white wine and this was great.)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 diced onion
- 1 cup chopped celery (about 2-3 ribs)
- 2-3 chopped carrots
- 1 button of garlic, minced
- Hot sauce—please don’t use Tobasco. It’s just wrong.
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh parsley
- Cook your beans. Follow the long recipe or do what I do, which is to pop ‘em in the pressure cooker (salt the water) for an hour. Perfect every time.
- Make the ham broth. While the beans are cooking, sear your hocks/shanks in a large skillet over high heat. Then place them in a separate large pot and cover them with your stock. Add the Italian seasoning and sake, and heat on high until the water comes to a simmer, go to low and cover. After this has gone for about an hour or so, remove the meat and debone, pulling it apart into small pieces. Add the meat back to the pot. Maybe make some weird art with the bones.
- Caramelize your veggies. Heat olive oil in the same pan you seared your ham in, over high heat. Add the veggies and cook until you start to see some good brown. That’s the flavor! Add the minced garlic and cook a few minutes more. This will require some attention since you’re cooking hot. Brown is good, black is bad. When you’re done, deglaze the pan with some of the liquid from the ham pot and mix everything back into the soup.
- Add vegetables and beans to the ham broth. As everything finishes cooking, throw it in the pot. Season with salt and pepper, and replace the lid. Let it continue simmering on low for another hour or so.
- PUT IT IN YOU. Hot sauce and parsley go in your bowl. Eat that soup!