We had a ham hock in the freezer, left over from Christmas, that was just calling to be a key ingredient in a bean soup.
I found this Rachel Ray recipe, which fit the bill. Though I used just one ham hock, there seemed to be plenty of meat in the dish. It doesn't get any easier than this!
Slow Cooker White Bean and Ham Soup
2 meaty smoked ham hocks
1 pound dried white beans. (I used northern beans).
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
4 ribs celery, chopped
8 ounces carrots, cut crosswise into rounds
1 large onion, chopped
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
12 sprigs thyme, plus picked leaves for garnishing
Salt and pepper
Cut a head of garlic in half without peeling the skin off. Then, combine everything except the salt and pepper in a slow cooker and cook on low for about five hours. Pull out the thyme stems and ham. Toss the thyme and pull the meat off the ham hocks. Throw out the skin, fat and bones. Find the garlic halves, pull out and squeeze out and mash the soft cloves, removing the skins. Add the shredded ham, along with salt and pepper to tasted, back in the pot.
This is really yummy with some good, crusty bread.
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