With the winter approaching (not on the East Coast)
homemade soups are common during the colder weather.
Here is one that goes waaayyyyy back.
Navy Bean Soup
1 pound navy beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
10 sprigs of parsley
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme
1 bay leaf
2 large smoked ham hocks, about 1.5 pounds
1 medium onion coarsely chopped
1 clove of garlic, coarsely chopped
8 cups cold water
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Butter for garnish
Place the beans in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes; remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for one hour. Drain and reserve. Tie the parsley, rosemary and bay leaf together with kitchen twine.
In a large soup pot or dutch oven combine the beans, herb bundle, hocks, onions, and garlic with the water. Bring to a boil, cover and adjust the heat so the soup cooks at a gentle simmer. Cook until the beans and hock are completely tender, about 1.5 hours.
Turn off the heat and remove the hocks. Cool slightly, Remove the meat from the hocks, discarding the bones, fat and skin. Cut the meat into small cubes. Remove the herb bundle and discard.
Puree about 3 cups of the beans with some of the liquid in a blender. For a smoother soup, puree all the beans. Stir the puree, carrots and diced meat into the soup. Heat the soup, simmer until carrots are done. Adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper.
Pour into heated bowls, place s small pat of butter on top of each soup and serve.