Sunday, lazy Sunday. Some families will bust out their most elaborate family dinners on Sundays. It is an old world tradition that has managed to stick for some. I love the notion, and sometimes I make it work. But, honestly, there are weeks when Sunday is my ONLY day-off. I will have just cooked for like 200 people the night before, and all I want to do is chill out and absorb time with my hubby and kiddos. That means that there are many Sundays that I choose a simpler, homier meal. I am either choosing a meal that the kids can help me make, or that can be thrown in a pot or dish and forgotten about for a while. This meal is kind of a combo. My kids love to help chop and dump things in a pot, and this soup can be assembled in the afternoon and gobbled up for dinner. My kind of Sunday!
Smoked White Bean & Ham Soup with Crispy Sage
1 smoked hamhock
3 cans cannellini beans, drained
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 a box of broth, or bone broth
1 bottle of beer
1 bunch of fresh sage, leaves left whole
3 tablespoons of olive oil, or smoked olive oil
2 tablespoons of flour (GF flour works great here, too)
1 extra cup of broth
Saute the onions and garlic with the hambone and a drizzle of olive oil. Once the onions are limp, dump in the three cans of drained cannelloni beans. Last bit of labor is to add your liquids, the broth and beer, and then it’s time to let things cook away over medium-low heat for a couple of hours. Go snuggle up on the couch to watch a movie, go on a walk, do some quality time while you wait. It’s Sunday for Pete’s sake! LOL
Once the meat just falls off your hambone, it is time to do a couple of finishing steps before gobbling up your cozy soup.
First, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a frying pan. We played with using smoked olive oil here, but regular olive oil is perfect, too. Once the oil is heated up, add in a full bunch of sage leaves.
Cook them until they are nice and crispy. These are going to be a yummy topper to your bowl of soup. Crispy and yummy!
Since I really wanted this to be a thick, rich, watch-your-spoon-stand-up-in-it type of soup, I decided to make a quick roux for thickening things up. It’s pretty darn simple. Think equal portions fat to flour and then add in a liquid. So, I started with the olive oil that I had fried up the sage in, just so that there would be even more hints of sage in my soup. Adding two tablespoons of flour to the olive oil, I stirred the two together and cooked them for a minute until the flour taste was cooked off (if you are gluten free, GF flour works great, too). Then add in a cup of broth. Whisk it together over heat and then add the thickened mix into your soup. Now, watch the magic as your bean soup thickens up to an utter lusciousness!
Lusciousness fully achieved!!
This bowl of soup is so hardy that even my hubby considers it a full meal…and that is saying a lot, since he is NOT a soup lover. Seriously, this is a bowl of stick-to-your-ribs-yumminess.