One of my grandmother’s recipes for soup is my favorite way to use fresh green beans. It’s simple to make and goes really well with homemade cornbread (my Southern twist on it). She lives in Pennsylvania, so I suspect it’s an old Pennsylvania-Dutch recipe.
Here’s what you’ll need
- a ham hock (use only half of it if you’re making a smaller batch of soup)
- 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 cups of beans, snapped
- 1 onion, chopped
- salt and pepper
I always like a lot of beans, but you can reduce the amount if it looks like too much for you. I usually just put them in until it looks like there are enough. Conversely, you can also add more potatoes to suit your taste. Be sure the ham you purchase isn’t sugared or flavored as this will make the soup taste awful.
- Put the ham hock in a large soup stock pan with about 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for about two to three hours, maybe a little longer. You may need to add some water during the process, but don’t add too much to thin the broth out. You can always add more water later.
- After a couple of hours, use tongs to remove the ham and place it on a cutting board to cool. When cool, cut it up into small pieces.
- In the meantime, add the onion to the broth and boil for 10 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and beans to the broth, adding just enough water to barely cover.
- Boil for another 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes and beans are cooked.
- Return the ham to the soup, warm to heat.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
That’s it! The biggest part is making sure that the broth is thick by boiling the ham hock long enough. A few hours at low to medium heat should do it.
Here’s the link to my favorite cornbread recipe to go along with this soup: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/