Saturday, February 20, 2010

smoked white bean soup

lately i've come to rely more and more on the food blogs i read for new ideas and recipes. it used to be my cookbooks reigned supreme. and the occasional cooking shows. but now i have a whole list of favourites and i really trust them to feature tested, tasty recipes. what sends my bloodpressure skyrocketing like nothing else is bloggers who have categories titled 'easy' or 'quick' or both and then include recipes with ingredients that require six hours prep time. even if the final assembly is quick, if it takes you a day to get there, it shouldn't get billed as easy. and dear god, people: nothing with 'confit' in the title is ever going to be quick. [feels good to have gotten that off my chest. pffffuh.]

this soup is easy. like most soups are. in the interest of full disclosure, it may take up to three hours, depending on the beans you use. there. easy. not quick. mighty tasty. so tasty in fact, that the resident princess ate that entire bowl in 5 minutes flat. sans the meat, of course. don't push it, now.

get two smoked pork hocks. wash them in cold water and set them to boil with a bayleaf, a whole peeled onion, a few peppercorns, the stringy part of the celery stalks you'll use in the finished soup, and a parsley root. simmer until the meat is tender and easy to pull apart. strain the broth and discard everything but the hocks. while the stock is simmering boil the beans in a separate pot, or use canned beans and eliminate this step. i've used both and i wish i could stand here and say that the ones you boil are infinitely superior, but they're not. the only difference is, the canned ones have a lot of sodium, so adjust seasoning accordingly. (be sure to give them a rinse before using, you don't want the can juices in the soup.)
in the meantime, chop 3-4 stalks celery, 2-3 carrots, and 1 green bell pepper. when the hocks are cool enough to handle pull the meat from the bone and cube it. add meat and veggies to the strained broth, with the beans and a handful of pasta. pick something small shaped. when they're almost cooked add 6 to 8 oz tomato sauce or juice. sprinkle in some chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice (or a bit of vinegar). correct seasoning and you're done. serve it with sour cream. we like to have onion on the side with this, julienned and then 'kneaded' with salt, pepper and olive oil.


  1. My pet peeve is when something is "30 Minutes" and the first ingredient is "One whole, cooked chicken." Like I have a cooked chicken just laying around. Pul-ease.

    The soup looks dreamy, especially with this cold weather. Somehow smoked pork and cold temps go together in my mind.

  2. Un fel de Minestrone cu afumatura! Grozava si prezentare clara si atractiva! Bravo! Imi plac pozele mari si clare! Ori la tine sint perfecte!
    have a nice weekend!

  3. anne: like i'd still be cooking if i had a whole chicken ready. those kill me too.
    for me it's comfort food at its best, and with reduced guilt at that. i make it quite often all winter long, we all love it especially with the onion salad.

    nina, ma flatezi. cand aud asa cuvinte frumoase de la cineva care le face mai bine decat mine imi creste inima in piept! mersi mult! pupici

  4. Hi dana,

    ca la Mama acasä. Minunatä Ciorba ta...
    Si , ia pläcut Prinzesei ???

    Cu drag Jacob

  5. Soups are so easy to make and most of the are quick. Love smoked ham hocks. I think they really add delicious flavor to a pot of soup!

  6. hi jacob! fac ciorba asta des iarna, ca zhara mananca tare bine, ii place cam orice pe baza de tomate, si mai acrisor. mersi mult!

    karen, i like them smoked better than plain, i think they're more flavourful. and it's very cheap protein.


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