Fall is in full swing here in Bavaria. The sun is shining, but it’s crisp and cold outside! Perfect crock pot Ham Hock & 15 Bean Soup weather!
I’ve had the ingredients for this soup in my kitchen for a week. But, life happened and I didn’t have the time to put it all together in the morning before my day started. So on Sunday when I woke up, I got everything in the crock pot and cooking. By 1pm my house smelled amazing and I couldn’t wait for dinner!
This Ham Hock & 15 Bean Soup recipe comes originally from Budget Bytes. It’s a super simple recipe that packs a big flavor punch! Cooking the ham hocks in the crock pot with all the beans and veggies brings such an added richness to the broth and flavor to the entire soup.
One of the things I love most about making soup is that it’s really hard to mess up. Unlike baking, exact measurements aren’t necessary for this recipe. When I dice the carrots and celery, I just eyeball it and throw in what looks good. It’s the same with the seasonings. Yes, the recipe calls for an exact amount, but really it’s just what looks good. Use what you have in your cabinet and refrigerator.
If you like it spicy, add some pepper flakes or chili powder. If you want it sweet, throw in a few tablespoons of brown sugar. How about some bell peppers or zucchini?
The possibilities are endless.
So, grab a bowl and fill it up with this soup, then get a crusty piece of bread and cozy up on the couch and enjoy!
- 1 medium-large yellow onion
- 4-5 stalks celery, diced
- 4-5 medium carrots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large smoked ham hock
- 1 lb. dry 15 bean mix
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1-2 Tbsp chicken bouillon
- salt/pepper to taste
- 6-7 cups water
- 1-2 cups largely diced ham (I cut up a ham steak) - optional
- In a large pot, add the beans and cover completely with water. Soak for 24 hours.
- Turn your crock pot on high.
- Evenly place the diced onion, carrots, celery and minced garlic over the bottom of the crock pot.
- Nestle the ham hocks down into the vegetables.
- Drain and rinse the soaking beans. Pour them over the vegetables, being careful not to disturb their placement.
- Pour the diced tomatoes over the beans.
- Sprinkle the parsley, oregano, basil and bouillon over the top. Add the bay leaves. Salt/pepper to taste. With your fingers, gently move the beans around so the seasoning is evenly incorporated - again being careful not to disturb the vegetables.
- Fill the crock pot with water until the soup is covered.
- Cook on high 6 hours.
- Remove the ham hock, pull off the meat and cut into bite size chunks and put the meat back in the crock pot. If you like a lot of meat, like I do, add the additional 1-2 cups of largely diced ham,
- Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Cook another 1 hour on low or until the diced ham is hot.
- Serve with crusty bread.