Crockpot Bean Soup with Ham and Kale
(This is an old recipe that has been removed from my site. I am leaving the printer-friendly version of the recipe here for anyone who was a fan of the soup!)
1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1 T minced garlic (or less if you don’t love garlic like I do)
1 small bunch of dark green kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped
2 cans cannellini beans (15.5 oz. each) or 3 cups cooked cannellini beans
3 cups diced ham (use ham with less than 10% fat for South Beach Diet)
4 cups ham stock + 2 cups chicken stock (or use 6 cups chicken stock plus some ham flavor base)
1-2 tsp. or packets ham flavor base (optional, but recommended if using chicken stock)
1 cup water (plus more for stovetop cooking)
red pepper flakes to taste (I used just a pinch)
freshly ground black pepper to taste (I used a lot of pepper)
Spanish sherry vinegar or other mild vinegar for serving (optional, but just a small amount of vinegar drizzled on the soup when serving added a lot of interesting flavor)Crockpot Instructions:
Finely chop onion and mince garlic (or use minced garlic from a jar.) Add onion and garlic to slow cooker. Cut away center ribs from kale, coarsely chop, and rinse in salad spinner or colander. Add kale to slow cooker. Add cannellini beans and chopped ham to slow cooker.Pour in ham stock, chicken stock, and 1 cup water, plus ham flavor base if using. Add red pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until kale is fully cooked and softened and flavors are well blended. Serve hot, with a little vinegar drizzled on the soup when serving if desired.
Use a heavy 4-5 quart soup pot. Add all ingredients to soup pot as above, adding 1 cup more water. Simmer soup on low for 1 hour or a little longer, checking about every 30 minutes to see if you need to add more water. (Be sure the simmer is gentle so the beans don’t break apart.) Soup is done when kale is cooked and tender and flavors are well blended. Serve hot, with a little vinegardrizzled on the soup when serving if desired.