Hearty Ham and Bean Soup, perfect for cold winter days! White beans, ham shanks, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, Tabasco, and herbs make this delicious ham and bean soup a cool weather classic.
When the weather turns cold, and all you want to do is stay cozy and warm, the best thing to do is to make a big pot of hearty soup. On days like these, nothing is more comforting than this ham and white bean soup. (Well, maybe some fuzzy woolen slippers, but you can’t eat those!)
This ham and bean soup is one of my favorite recipes on the website, and one that my father has been making for the family for decades. He makes a big batch (doubles this one) and because it just gets better as the days go by, we’ll enjoy it for dinner one night and then for lunch for several days afterward.
Why is it that some stews and soups improve the next day? I think it’s because the flavors from the beans, ham, and vegetables have time to blend. The starch from the beans settles more into the broth making the soup thicker and more stew-like too.
1 pound dried Great Northern Beans
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
7 cups homemade or quality low-sodium chicken or turkey stock
1 smoked ham hock
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Rinse and sort beans to remove any debris. Soak beans in a large pot of cold water overnight. You can also do a quick soak instead of the overnight soak. To quick soak beans, Place rinsed and sorted beans in a large pot or dutch oven. Cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat; once boiling turn off heat and cover. Let sit for 1 hour.
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt; saute until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Strain the water from the soaked beans.
To the onions add stock, ham hock, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes then add beans and continue to simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours uncovered until the beans are tender. 5 minutes before the beans are finished, add the oregano and parsley and stir. Remove the ham off of the ham hock, chop, and return to the soup, if desired. Taste and add any additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm.