White Bean & Ham Hock Soup

with Cornbread

White Bean & Ham Hock Soup

Soup

Ingredients:

1 pound dried small white beans
1 pound smoked ham hocks
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 cups carrots, peeled and diced
1 pound tomatoes, peeled seeded and diced
4 fresh thyme sprigs
8 cups chicken stock
Salt & pepper, to taste
Cornbread, recipe follows

Instructions:

Soak beans in cold water to cover overnight. Drain and rinse well. Simmer ham hocks in 6 cups water partially covered for 1 hour, Skimming the stock as necessary. Reserve 4 cups of the cooking liquid and drain ham hocks.

Heat olive oil in an 8-qt heavy pot over moderate heat. Add the onion, garlic and carrots, cook the vegetables until softened. Add tomatoes and thyme, cook stirring for 1 minute. Add beans, stock, ham hock and reserved cooking liquid. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Remove ham hock, dice the meat and return to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with corn bread.

Cornbread

Ingredients:

3 cups white cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups buttermilk, well shaken
3 sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 (10 inch) well seasoned cast-iron skillets

Instructions:

Heat skillets in oven while preheating to 400°. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 1 cup butter, quickly stir together. Remove skillets from oven. Divide remaining butter between the 2 skillets, add the batter ½ in each. Bake until golden and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, approx. 15 to 20 minutes.

Wine Pairings