Ham and White Bean Soup

I. Love. Fall. I love it inordinately. I love the colors and smells and foods and weather. I even love it enough to use incorrect grammar to describe my love, as in the first three words of this post.

One of the best things about fall is that I can start making hot, thick, savory soups again. This last weekend I made what is probably my awesomest soup to date (or so claims my husband, who has an inordinate love of pig) – Ham and Bean. The title of the soup in no way manages to describe it’s savory, complex broth and filling organic goodness. What I did, I reproduced to the best of my memory, below.

1. Soak and simmer a bag of white beans till soft.
2. In a large pot filled with water, simmer a ham hock and some bay leaves for 2 to 2.5 hours, adding some celery and carrot for the last hour or so. Take hock out, fork off meat, and add back to broth. Remove carrot and celery.
3. Saute an onion in olive oil and butter, waiting to add the onion till the oil is really hot, so that the onion carmelizes a bit. Add several cloves of minced garlic and cook for a few minutes, then add to the broth.
4. Add a whole bunch of sliced carrots, simmer till half way cooked, then add some chopped celery and rosemary, fresh or dried. Also add about half a cup of red wine.
5. When celery and carrots are almost done, add in the beans and about 3/4 to 1 lb. of diced thick spiral-cut ham. Heat through, then add about 2 tsp of butter, melt, swirl around in pot, taste and adjust salt and pepper, and serve.

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