Cookbook Pork Soups

Ham and Bean Soup

1 C. dry navy beans
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs. meaty smoked ham hocks or meaty ham bone
1 C. onion, chopped
1/2 C. celery, sliced
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 T. instant chicken bouillon granules
1 T. fresh parsley, snipped
1 T. fresh thyme, snipped, or 1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
2 C. rutabaga or parsnips, chopped
1 C. carrots, sliced
2 C. fresh spinach leaves, chopped, or 1 – 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

Rinse beans. In Dutch oven, combine beans and 5 cups cold water. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour, or skip boiling water and soak beans overnight in covered pan. Drain and rinse beans. In same pan, combine beans, 5 cups fresh water, pork hocks, onions, celery, bouillon granules, parsley, thyme and pepper. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 3/4 hours. Remove pork hocks; set aside to cool. Mash beans slightly. Stir in rutabaga and carrots. Return to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Cut meat off bones; coarsely chop. Discard bones. Stir meat and spinach into saucepan. Heat through.

Makes 4 or 5 servings.

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