White Bean & Ham Soup

Bean & Ham Soup


  • 1 meaty smoked ham hock
  • 1 litre of cold water (1 Quart)
  • 225g dried white beans,  Cannellini or Great Northern (1/2 pound)
  • 1/4 tsp each dried oregano, sage, basil, thyme, marjoram and fennel seed
  • 1 broken bay leaf
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 ribs of celery, washed trimmed and chopped (I like to include some of the leaves)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and minced (remove any green and discard first)
  • hot sauce to taste
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • parsley to garnish


  1. Pick through the beans discarding any shriveled or discoloured ones.  Rinse in water and then place them in a saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside to soak for 2 hours.
  2. While the beans are soaking make the ham broth.  Put the ham hock into a large saucepan along with the cold water. Add all of the herbs, including the bay leaf, and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, and simmer partially covered for 1 hour.
  3. Drain the beans, discarding the water.  Add to the ham hock along with all of the vegetables.  Cook for a further 45 minutes to an hour, or until all of the vegetables are soft and the beans are cooked.  Remove the ham hock.  Remove any meat from the bone, cutting it into manageable pieces and then return it to the pot discarding the bone.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and hot sauce.  Heat through then ladle into hot bowls and serve garnished wih some parsley if desired.

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