Ham & Bean Soup with Kale

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  • 1 1-pound bag dried Great Northern beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped and peeled carrots
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 10-12 cups water
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 2 smoked ham hocks (or ham bone with some meat left on)
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to taste
  • Kosher salt, about 1/4 cup or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Place beans in a 10-quart stock pot and pick through to discard any broken beans or rocks. Cover with 3-4 inches of water, soak overnight and drain the next day. (Note: if you can?t do this, cover beans with water, bring to a full boil and then turn off heat. Let sit 30 minutes, then drain.)
Return pot to stove and heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic; cook for 10 minutes or until just tender.
Add 10 cups water and return beans to pot. Strip kale leaves from stems and large middle vein, wash leaves and chop (discard stems).
Add ham hocks, parsley, basil and chili flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and add salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and simmer, stirring soup occasionally for 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
Remove ham bone, cut off any remaining ham and add it back to pot (give bone to Spot).
Serve with cheese sprinkled on top.

Recipe from Central Market Poulsbo - Culinary Resource Center
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