Smoked Pork and White Bean Soup
Soup, soup, soup. So warm and comforting in the winter, so refreshing in the summer.
Some slices of leftover, smoked pork, alongside a large, meaty, bone from Bob’s newest ‘smoker’ creation over the weekend provided today’s meal of sustaining delight, Smoked Pork and White Bean Soup. Not sure about yours, but outside of the savories remaining from the Thanksgiving turkey, or Christmas dinner, two occasions a year, my family, otherwise, are not so much into leftovers. They don’t say this, but the subtle behavior associated provides as if some sort of an affront has occurred, ruining the peace of the most sacred meal of the day. The roundabout solution resolved in one word, soup.
During the winter months countless soups may be prepared with a very simple base, onions, celery, and carrots. From there you simply build on your ingredients among what you have in your kitchen combined with your choice of broth base, and don’t forget to save and use those retaining meat juices, turned gelatinous after refrigeration, collected from cooking, tenting, and slicing time. The making of soup can be as simple or complex as you like, and though today’s soup enjoyed the long simmer of a Sunday afternoon, and, I did soak these dried beans overnight, it is still manageable to prepare a healthy soup any night of the week, including those using leftovers from another meal.
Darn. This then brings me to a clincher, actually, one of my cooking peeves. Broth. Life is so busy today, and between work and activity schedules, if one is not used to cooking all of their lives, it may be difficult to come up with ideas on daily preparation. And there is broth, chicken broth. Well, there are lots of other broths too, but for today the chicken is my point, a basic simmered chicken carcass. My most recent cooking class is called, for lack of coming up with a pithy title, one chicken, two chicken, how to serve your family healthy, reasonably priced soups and dishes from around the world. Actually, if you are interested in taking this class please give me a shout out and I’ll let you know where, Peggy@spicedpeachblog.com
Anyway, I know I’ve said it before, but you would be amazed at how much better you and your family would be eating by using just 2 simple frying chickens a week, including the endless provision for creating soups. Good for you, flavorful soups. Soups. Soups.
Soups. With broth in tow, so many variations to choose from, even using a simple base of onions, celery, carrots tending a long simmer of a Sunday afternoon, Smoked Pork and White Bean Soup, creatively using up the leftovers, while keeping peace at the most sacred meal of the day.
Smoked Pork and White Bean Soup
A delicious soup to prepare with leftover smoked pork, and the pork bone. A beef rib or ham bone with leftover beef or ham may alternatively be used.
- 1 pound bag dried white Northern or cannellini beans, rinsed, picked through for any debris, then soaked in a pot of cold water overnight
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled, cut into quarter pieces
- 4 carrots, peeled quartered
- 3 celery stalks, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 8 sprigs thyme, removed from stem
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- smoked pork bone with any meat still attached
- 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes with juice
- 3 cups chicken stock, plus 1-2 cups for thinning once soup is cooked and beans absorb liquid
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 1/2-2 cups leftover chopped smoked pork
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt, plus, additional pinches to taste
- 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper, or more to taste
- fresh grated Parmesan cheese for topping each bowl
- In the bowl of a food processor, one vegetable at a time, pulse the carrots, celery, and onions to a very small dice
- Into a large soup pot on very low heat add in the olive oil then stir in the diced onions, carrots and celery, cook for five minutes then stir in the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, heat through for three minutes
- Tumble in the white beans, stir, snuggle the pork bone in with the beans and vegetables, cook for a few minutes
- Scrape in the whole tomatoes with juice, raise the temperature to medium high heat
- Pour in the chicken and beef stock, stir, bring soup to a boil continuing to boil for around ten minutes before reducing the heat back down to very low temperature
- After soup has cooked for around an hour or so, with beans mostly cooked, add in half of the leftover chopped smoked pork, simmer another half hour
- Transfer a few large ladles filled with the beans and other solid ingredients, including the pork into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until mixture is creamed, return mixture back to the soup pot
- Stir in the other half of the leftover chopped pork, stir through
- Pour white wine into soup, stir, and continue simmering soup for another hour or longer
- Turn off heat. Stir in salt and pepper, check seasoning, adjust to taste
- Let soup sit for at least a half hour, add more chicken stock for thinning if beans absorb liquid upon setting
- Stir through fresh chopped parsley, check seasoning again, adjusting to taste
- Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.