3cupsbeans( great northern, pinto, black, navy, lentils – any or all)
8ounceschopped kielbasa( , or other sausage, if you love meat)
10cups water (vegetable, chicken, or beef) or 10cupsstock( vegetable, chicken, or beef)
1 (28ounce) cans Italian tomatoes
1tablespooncrushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspooncayenne pepper(optional)
1 -2tablespoonfreshly ground black pepper
2tablespoons sage or 2tablespoons basil or 2tablespoons parsley or 2tablespoonsoregano( or any combination of those herbs)
freshly squeezed, lemon, juice of
If you’ve got time, cover beans with water and soak, covered, overnight.
Otherwise, cover beans with water and bring to a boil for a few minutes, then bring the heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes or so.
Drain (this helps cut down on any, uh, gas issues).
Cover again with water, stock, or a combination.
Add ham hocks and bring heat back to medium.
Simmer for an hour or until beans are softened and meat is coming off the bones.
Add water or stock as needed throughout cooking process.
Remove ham hocks and set aside to cool.
Add onions, tomatoes (with juice), garlic, spice, salt and sausage (if desired).
Remove meat from ham hocks, shred into small pieces, and add to soup.
Continue to simmer until beans are very soft.
and tomatoes have broken down.
Add lemon juice.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with crusty, rustic bread and a green salad.
“This recipe is so delicious! Plus, it’s quite adaptable, too. I used a ham bone instead of ham hocks and I only had a 14 ounce can of tomatoes. The soup had plenty of hammy and tomato flavor. I also omitted the cayenne and I added just a pinch of red pepper flakes and it was still a bit spicy (I imagine with a whole tablespoon of flakes plus the cayenne, this soup would be quite blistering!). It should be noted step 11 (continue simmer until beans are soft) took over another hour – like an additionalhour and 20 minutes. Even with the overnight soak and almost 3 hours of cooking, this soup is so worth it!”
“I added 1 med. chopped onion and 1 stalk chopped celery, that I cooked until tender before adding it to the soup.”
“Mine didn’t look anything like the photo…I was expecting a thick ham and bean soup and ended up with what I would consider more of a minestrone without the pasta.Having said that,I used turkey kielbasa and followed the recipe exactly.Tasty but not what I was looking for.Next time I want minestrone I’ll make this.”