Navy Bean Soup with Rosemary
and Smoky Ham Hocks
My mom often requests this when she comes to visit. She claims to love it, but then adds so much hot sauce to it I doubt she can taste it. She usually makes cornbread to go with it, and that’s dinner.
Serves 6 to 8 (Makes about 2 quarts)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onion, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 cups dried navy or great northern beans, rinsed and picked through; soaked overnight or quick cooked
8 cups chicken broth
1 smoked ham hock
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1. Heat the olive oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, reduce the heat to low, and cook and stir until it is soft and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add the celery and cook and stir for 8 to 10 minutes longer, until the celery is soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute more.
2. Add the drained beans, chicken broth, ham hock, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and dried rosemary to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour 30 minutes, until the beans are tender.
3. Remove the bay leaves from the soup and discard. Remove the ham hock and place it on a plate to cool. When the ham hock is cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bone and return it to the soup. Stir in the fresh rosemary and more salt and pepper to taste. This soup is even better the day after it’s made. It will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. It also freezes well.