NAVY BEAN AND SMOKED HAM HOCK SOUP

And yes I know I recently posted a recipe for Navy Bean Soup. I’m not getting forgetful, but I really wanted Navy bean soup for dinner last evening, but I wanted a slightly different flavor for the broth. So I concocted this recipe based on my original recipe. (Life is never dull in the Carr household!) I also wanted to use up some kale I had in the fridge.

Having used kale in other bean soup recipes, I felt no reluctance to add it to this recipe. In fact I am using kale so much these days, that if a dish doesn’t contain kale, Mr. C. starts to get worried! (Always like to keep him on his toes!)

So if you crave a bean soup with a kind of new flavor sensation, give this recipe a try. The addition of a bit of tomato paste, some smoked paprika, and kale gives this wonderful old standard a lift up into the 21st century. It’s like changing a song from a waltz to a bossa nova. Or plain scrambled eggs into an omelet. Nothing wrong with the original, but the change is more than welcome too. Enjoy!

  • 1 qt. chicken stock
  • 1 qt. water
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 2 c. navy beans, washed and drained*
  • 1 T. tomato paste
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped into fairly small pieces
  • 1 c. chopped celery, including the leaves
  • ¼ c. minced fresh parsley
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary or ½ tsp. dried
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 c. finely chopped massaged curly kale

Combine all ingredients except the kale in a heavy covered pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover pot, and cook until the beans are very tender, about 2 hours. After 90 minutes, remove the ham hock, let cool, and separate the meat from the bone and fatty tissue. Chop or shred the meat and add it back to the pot along with the chopped kale. Remove bay leaves and adjust the seasoning. Simmer soup for about 15 minutes or until the kale is wilted and tender. Great served with a good hearty bread or crusty baguette.   

*For this recipe, beans do not need to be pre-soaked.

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks