One of my favorite things about Fall is that it is soup weather. There are so many delicious ways to make soup and I think, for the most part, they are pretty healthy and satisfying.
My mom used to make a soup like this when I was growing up. She would use navy beans and the leftover ham bone from Christmas Eve dinner. It was always something I looked forward to.
For this one, I used the bag of 15 bean mix that you can get at the grocery store. (You can discard the seasoning packet, unless you really want to use it.) There are so many good beans in here and changing up the beans from my mom’s navy beans just adds a bit more nutrition to the dish. The taste was still a nostalgic treat and so yummy. Just what I needed on a cold night fighting whatever sickness has invaded my body.
They say no matter how old you are, you always need your mommy. Well, even if she couldn’t be here to take care of me, at least her soup can be!
You just need:
1 lb bag of beans
1 ham hock
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
The night before, place the dry beans in a bowl and cover completely with water.
The next morning, the beans will have soaked up most of the water and look like this. You can leave them like this until you are ready to make your soup.
In a big soup pot, add a little bit of olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic until soft. Then add some diced ham. Stir around a little bit before adding the rest of the ingredients. You can add a little bit of salt and pepper at this stage, but I tend to wait until the end to see how much seasoning it might need.
Add the beans, ham hock, and bay leaf. Cover with with water, about 2 inches above the top of the beans. Bring to a boil for about a minute, then reduce to a low simmer and cover.
That’s it. Seriously. Just let it sit for about 2 hours, stirring every so often.
When you’re done, remove the bay leaf and taste it to see how much salt and pepper you want to add. I usually add a little bit of salt and a generous amount of pepper. Serve it up with some bread and enjoy on a nice cold night!
PS: This makes a lot of soup. I store it with the ham hock in the soup just to keep the flavors going strong.