This ham and white bean soup is the perfect crock pot meal to fix on a snowy day. Toss everything in the crock pot and go skiing, sliding, skating, or snowshoeing. Or just sit back and relax in front of a good movie. It's a stick-to-your-ribs soup that you'll fix again and again.
White beans—great northern or navy beans—cook low and slow with canned tomatoes, corn, and fresh carrots and celery. Smoked ham hocks season the beans nicely. If you have a leftover ham bone, use that and add some leftover diced ham along with it. It's a very forgiving recipe, a blank canvas for all kinds of substitutions and additions. If you aren't a fan of carrots, feel free to leave them out or replace them with another vegetable. For color, you might add some diced red bell pepper. Or, instead of all white beans, use one-third to one-half pinto beans or black beans for a two-tone effect. The lima beans add color and texture to the soup, but if you aren't a fan, replace the lima beans with black-eyed peas or add more corn and other vegetables. Chopped fresh spinach or kale can add color and flavor to the soup as well.
- 2 smoked ham hocks (or a meaty ham bone)
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups carrots (sliced)
- 1 1/2 cups celery (sliced)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 1 cup frozen baby lima beans (cooked and drained)
- 3 (15-ounce) cans white beans (e.g., great northern, navy, etc.)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes (with juices)
- 1/2 cup corn kernels (canned or frozen)
- Dash salt (or to taste)
- Dash pepper (or to taste)
- In a slow cooker, combine the ham hocks or ham bone, vegetable broth, carrots, celery, and onion.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for about 6 hours, or until vegetables are tender.
- Carefully strain broth into a bowl and skim off excess fat. Return the skimmed broth to the slow cooker.Remove the ham bone or hocks to a plate; let it stand until it's cool enough to handle.
- Remove the meat from the bones; chop it and return it to the broth.
- Meanwhile, cook the frozen baby lima beans following the package directions; drain well.
- Drain the canned beans and add them to the pot along with the cooked lima beans, pepper, tomatoes, and corn.
- Taste and season with salt, as needed. Continue cooking on high for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Garnish the soup with chopped green onions, fresh parsley, or homemade seasoned croutons. Or sprinkle servings with some grated Parmesan cheese.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||3 g|
|Saturated Fat||1 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||0 g|
|Dietary Fiber||28 g|