Ham, potatoes, cabbage, beans, cloves, onion, garlic, and thyme in a broth with toasted rye croutons.
-By Carrie (Strommen) Lennie
2 ½ lbs smoked ham hocks
3 quarts water
1 whole clove
1 medium white onion, peeled, left whole
1 cup dried great northern beans, soaked (see note)
6 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes (3-4 medium size)
1 lb green cabbage, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces (6 cups)
Salt and ground black pepper
Toasted rye croutons, for garnish
- In a heavy 8-quart pot, over high heat, bring the ham hocks and water to a boil; decrease the heat and simmer covered, for 1 hour, skimming off the froth often.
- Stick the clove into the onion. In the pot with ham hocks, add clove-studded onion, beans, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and garlic; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are almost tender, 40 to 50 minutes.
- When the beans are close to being done, peel the potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add the potatoes and cabbage to the beans. Simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are very tender, 20 – 25 minutes.
- Remove the ham hocks from the soup. When cooled enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Stir ham pieces into soup Discard the bay leaf and onion. Season with salt and pepper.
- Ladle 1 to 1 ½ cups of soup into each soup plate and serve with toasted rye croutons.
Note: Soak the beans in 2 inches of cold water at room temperature at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse in a colander.