With fall in the air there is nothing like a pot of homemade ham and bean soup. The secret to making an outstanding pot of ham and bean soup is in the ham hocks. If you can find them use hocks that have not been previously smoked. Include 1 hock that is a country ham hock. If you do you will not need to add one pinch of salt the hock will season the soup itself. I use a pressure cooker to cook the hocks but you can simply boil them to get the same results, the pressure cooker is simply quicker.
2 ham hocks unsmoked if you can find them 1 country ham hock 2 stalks of celery chopped 2 carrots chopped 1 medium onion chopped 1/2 teaspoon of ground thyme 2 cans of great northern beans or beans of choice Directions: Place hocks in pressure cooker or pot of water. If using a pressure cooker cook for 1 hour or in a pot of boiling water bring to boil and simmer for 3 hours or until tender. Remove hocks from pressure cooker or pot and let cool. Pull all the meat off the bone and disregard fat. Run your broth through a gravy separator to remove the fat from the broth. Chop the meat into small pieces, add the meat and remaining ingredients to the broth. Simmer for approximately 1 hour.