Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Crock Pot White Bean and Spinach Soup

Is it just me or does it seem like everyone is sick right now? Guess it was only a matter of time before it hit our house & poor Matt is down with a cold. Well, in my book the best thing for a cold is a bowl of homemade soup.
Crock Pot White Pean & Spinach Soup
Matt picked this soup out of the book A Platter of Figs. A pretty basic white bean & ham soup but the seasonings really add a lot, especially the red pepper flakes, you don't usually expect a bite to white bean soup. The recipe suggested adding pasta & some wilted greens at the end. I can't imagine adding pasta to this since its already so filling & rich but loved the addition of spinach (plus all those dark leafy greens are so good for us).

The only big change I made to the recipe was the process for cooking it. The original recipe called for cooking it one day then letting it sit uncovered in the refrigerator overnight before serving. I guess this will thicken it up (which it didn't need) as well as let the favors blend more (though it was awful flavorful). I decided to try just cooking it in my crock pot all day which worked perfectly. I love having a soup or stew simmering away in the crock pot on a cold, wet day. This soup is a winner & we'll definitely make it again.

Crock Pot White Bean & Spinach Soup
(adapted from A Platter of Figs)

1 1/2 T olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced
1 bay leaf
3/4 - 1 lb smoked ham shank or hock
2 c dry white beans (I used navy beans)
6 c water
3/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
2 t fennel seeds, crushed fine
1 t kosher salt
6 oz spinach, roughly torn
olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions & cook until tender about 5 minutes. Add the garlic & bay leaf & cook about 3 minutes more.

Put the ham, beans, water, cooked onions, garlic & bay leaf into a crock pot. Turn to high & let cook for 3 hours. Stir in the red pepper flakes, fennel & salt. Let cook for 1 to 2 more hours until the beans are tender & the meat is falling off the ham bone.

Remove the ham bone & break up the meat as needed. (My meat fell right off the bone & just needed to be broken up a bit with a spoon. There was also a bit of fat to remove.) Stir in the spinach & let wilt. Drizzle a little olive oil over each serving.

4 -5 servings

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© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

18 comments:

Dawn said...

pulling out my crockpot means it will be snowing soon...so I am not doing that anytime soon.
but I do love your soup. nothing like a hot bowl of soup w/ a giant piece of bread--I mean it's so comforting & warming.

Elle said...

That is just my favorite kind of soup--all thick and stick-to-you-ribs on a cold day. Now if I could only find a good vegan sub for ham! gah!

Amy P. said...

Yum, this sounds delicious. I'm assuming you use dried beans in this? (that's always the case when cooking in the crockpot, isn't it?).

We're doing some kitchen work so it's nice to have recipes that don't require using the stove. Thanks for the idea!

Maria said...

I am ready for soup season. Love this one.

Deborah said...

Luckily everyone in my house is well right now. But it is cold, and this soup would sure warm me up!

George Gaston said...

Kat… fall is in the air and that means comfort food. Cooking this classic soup in your crock pot was the perfect way to infuse the flavors of its ingredients, plus fill the house with a soothing aroma. Your patient has got quite a creative nurse in the kitchen.

Kristin said...

This soup looks like something we would like too, and cooking in the crockpot is always an awesome way to cook! I often find I am exhausted by the time dinner comes around... running after an 18 month old all day!!!

Holli T. said...

This may be a really dumb question, but do you need to soak the beans overnight? I know you're cooking in a crock-pot, but I thought you had to soak them no matter what.

This looks great! Planning to make it Sat. when we are at a fall carnival all day! :)

Holli T.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Pork and beans are one of my favorite combinations!

kat said...

Holli - Not a dumb question at all. The beans do not need to be soaked for this recipe. The cooking time in the crock pot was more than enough to get them extremely tender.

Lori said...

I love to have a soup simmering away as well. My DH is sick as well. I just made Egg Drop Soup.

Sharon said...

Ugh, I am currently battling a cold so a bowl of this soup looks perfect right about now.

Grace said...

that's awesomely creamy and fantastic! adding pasta is so unnecessary, you're right about that. it'd just taint a perfect bowl of warmth. :)

Minneapolis Farmers Marker said...

This looks so good. Enter it in our Best Soup contest-I think a lot of people would vote for it.

Tangled Noodle said...

I love creamy soups but not necessarily with cream - this hits the spot. And I'm going to stock up on ham hocks; just the idea of it simmering away with the beans and then having the bits of meat fall away is sooo appetizing!

Foodycat said...

Everyone is sick right now, aren't they? This soup looks amazing. I will definitely be preparing it this week, I think!

gaga said...

What a tasty soup, I like all the flavors you put in. Looks great

Peter M said...

Cooler temps have arrived...that means soups and stews and this rib-sticking goodness is just what's needed.

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