The weather has been so extreme lately. Two weeks ago it was in the mid 80’s and sunny while last week it was in the 50’s and rainy. While it was so dreary outside, I decided to make a big pot of soup. I found a bag of white beans in the pantry, some veggies in the refrigerator, and a ham hock in the freezer – perfect ingredients for a hearty and comforting batch of soup. It smelled amazing while cooking and tasted even better. I served the soup with freshly baked bread and my House Salad for a delicious meal that we all enjoyed.
Quick soak the white beans by first rinsing the beans in cold water then put them in a large pot and cover with about 4 inches of fresh cold water. Place on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, and remove from heat. Let them sit for 1 hour. Drain. The beans will be “soaked” and ready to cook.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock to the Dutch oven followed by the quick soaked white beans and ham hock. Cover with a lid and cook for 2 1/2 hours. Add the diced potato to the pot and cook for 30 minutes. Add the kale and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste; cook for 15 minutes. Remove the fat and bone from the ham hock and shred the pork into small pieces.
Taste and re-season if needed. Ladle into bowls and serve with some crusty freshly baked bread. Enjoy.