White bean and ham soup

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Smokey White Bean and Ham Soup

1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig rosemary
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 lb dried small white beans, rinsed and picked through
1 lb ham steak, fat removed then diced
1 smoked ham hock
10 cups of water, plus extra if needed
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Place a large pot over medium heat. Add oil to pot. Once the oil is hot, add diced onions, carrots, and celery to the pot. Stir. Saute over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the carrots are softened.
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Add the dried white beans, garlic, bay leaf, dried oregano & basil to the pot. Stir and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Add the ham hock, diced ham, parsley and rosemary sprig to the pot. Cover the ingredients with about 8 cups of water. Add 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Stir.

Raise heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Once you reach a boil, reduce heat to medium low. Simmer soup over medium low heat for 2 – 2 1/2 hours until the beans are tender. If soup starts to get too thick, add a bit more water.

Once beans are soft, remove the ham hock and rosemary sprig. Taste then season as necessary with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Soup can be made a day in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve hot with hot sauce on the side for those who like it (ME!). Enjoy!

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