Hello 2018! Welcome to post number 200!
Thanks for reading Travel*Food*Cool. Let start the year off cozy.
Baby, it has been COLD outside lately!!! Like really cold! Cold weather – I have to admit, I’m not a fan. I’m more of a warm weather fan. When it gets cold outside, I want to stay inside, put on some slippers, curl up in a blanket and eat a big bowl of warming comfort food. This soup is like slipping on those cozy slippers. It wraps you up in warmth and gives you a big flavourful ham and bean hug.
My other favourite thing to do when the weather gets cold is to fire up the slow cooker. This is a slow cooker soup that requires little prep and has lots of flavour. The beans require no advance soaking. This soup is budget- and student- friendly. It’s a Dinner While You Work recipe that has you coming home to a house that smells great and a meal that’s pretty close to table-ready. This is a main course soup that will give you lunch leftovers for tomorrow.
You can use a leftover ham bone if you have one (keep some meat on your bone) or ham hocks. I went down to St. Lawrence Market to see my normal meat guy and got one of their smoked ham hocks. When I mentioned that I was using it for a soup, they offered to cut it in half for me (one of the many reasons that I love them).
This is a very easy to make, student-friendly and gluten-free meal! Christian made this with me over the holidays and ate the entire amount in about 3 days. He loved it!
Want another quick prep bean soup? Try the very popular Black Beauty Bean Soup.
Note: this soup thickens up a lot after it sits; leftovers are super thick. You will probably want to add some water when reheating to thin it out a bit.
Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 6 – 8+ hours; Serves: 8 – 10
What you need:
- 1 lb (about 2 1/2 cups) navy beans (you can also use Northern Beans), rinsed but not soaked (pick out any discoloured beans)
- 1 smoked ham hock or ham bone (mine was approximately 3 lbs), cut in half and trimmed of any obvious fat
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 4 ribs celery, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 cups stock (I used chicken)
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried mustard
- 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (you can also use paprika)
- 1/4 pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- green onions (optional, for garnish)
What you do:
- In your slow cooker, add the diced onions
- Add the ham hock/bone
- Add the rinsed navy beans
- Add the celery, carrots, garlic
- Sprinkle with the thyme, chipotle powder, mustard and pepper
- Add the bay leaves (count how many you put in so you can take them all out at the end)
- Add the stock
- Add the water
- Cook on low for 6-8+ hours (I cooked mine for 8 hours)
- Remove the ham hock/bone, discard the bones and fat; shred the meat
- Remove bay leaves
- Using a potato masher, mash roughly half the beans in the slow cooker
- Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir
- Optional: garnish with sliced green onions and hot sauce
- This is thick and stick-to-your-ribs goodness!
- Cold weather comfort food!
- Wrap yourself up with this warming soup!
- Eating leftovers the next day? This gets really thick as it sits, so you may want to thin it out with some water.
- Bonus! Leftovers freeze really well.