My mom and dad loved bean soup and they would eat it often for lunch during the winter months. As a kid, I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept of bean soup.
Who wants to eat a huge bowl of only beans?
The answer now is me! I love beans as an adult and make up big batches of them to have on hand. Cooking beans in a slow cooker is a breeze and it’s much cheaper to buy dried beans over canned beans.
Since the weather is turning colder, I decided to tackle making some bean soup from scratch starting with cooking up the beans.
I recently saw this recipe from Lori over at Fake Food Free where she used a wheat beer while cooking her beans. This sparked the idea to use some beer while cooking up the beans for this soup.
Andrea’s Ham Hock Bean Soup
For The Beans
- 1lb Navy Beans
- 1 Large Smoked Ham Hock (or 2 if you want more ham)
- 1/2 Large Onion, cut into chunks
- 1 Bottle Dark Beer, (I used New Belgium’s 1554)
- 10C Water
- 3 Cloves of garlic
The day before you make this soup, soak the beans in water for 24 hours. Drain, remove any debris and add the beans to the slow cooker. Add in the ham hock and the remaining ingredients. Cook on high for about 6-8 hours or until the beans are soft to the bite.
Remove the ham hock and drain the beans. Be sure to save the liquid from the beans, you’ll need this for the soup (plus you just made awesome ham hock stock).
Once the ham hock cools, shred and set the meat aside.
For The Soup
- 1/2 Large Onion, chopped
- 3 Large Carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4C Navy Beans
- 4C Ham Hock Stock
- 4C Chicken Stock
- Pinch of salt and ground black pepper
- 2tsp Ground Garlic
- 1/2tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1TBSP Olive Oil for sauteeing
In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat and add in the onions and carrots. Sautee for about 5-7 minutes until everything starts to soften. Add in the seasonings and stir. Add in the stocks, the beans, and the ham. Stir and then add in the Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about an hour or until the carrots are cooked through. Stirring occasionally.
Yes this took all day but it was totally worth it. You can break this up and cook the beans one day and the soup the next. Or you can freeze the cooked beans and shredded ham hock so that they are ready when you would like to make this soup.
I think the addition of maybe some greens would be great in this soup and I might do that next time. Perfect soup for a chilly fall day.
You’ll have more ham hock stock then you’ll need for the soup so keep the leftovers for other uses or freeze to save for later. And keep that bone so you can make more stock with it later!
Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food! Enjoy!