Smoky Navy Bean Soup

Serves 6


  • 2 1/4 cups dry navy beans (about 1 pound)
  • 6 cups warm water
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 3 parsley sprigs
  • 3 smoked ham hocks (about 1 1.3 pounds)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled Yukon gold potato
  • 1 1/2 cups Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup thinly-sliced carrot
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preparation: Sort and wash beans;place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain beans; rinse and drain.
Return beans to pan; cover with 6 cups warm water. Stud whole onion with cloves; place in pan. Add celery, thyme, parsley sprigs, han hocks, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduceheat, and simmer 45 minutes.
Discard onion, thyme, parsley sprigs, and bay leaf. Remove ham hocks from pan; cool slightly. Remove meat from bones; finely chop to yield 1/3 cup meat. Discard bones, skin, and fat. Add meat, kale, potato, chopped onion, carrot, salt, and pepper to pan; stir well. Cover and simmer 30 minutes or until beans and vegetables are tender. Stir in parsley.