White Bean Soup with Ham, Pumpkin, and Chard

Hearty fall and winter soup with pumpkin, white beans, a ham hock, tomato, and chard. This recipe calls for a sugar pumpkin (the kind you use to make pies). You can easily substitute the same quantity of butternut squash or almost any winter squash.
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Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes Yield: Serves 5-6. INGREDIENTS

2 Tbsp olive oil

ripe tomato. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer. chopped 4 cloves garlic. flesh peeled. cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. tomatoes. a few minutes more. simmer until chard is wilted. Add the white beans and cook for 15 minutes. and thyme. . and cut into 1-inch chunks (resulting in 3 1/2 cups or 1 pound of chunks) 1/2 pound ham hock 8 cups chicken stock 1 15-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes. Then add the chopped celery. Add the chopped chard. seeds scooped out. Add the onion and the bay leaves and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more. chop it. Increase heat to bring to a simmer. drained OR 1 large fresh. and return to the pot. halved. Let simmer for an hour and a half. peeled and minced One 2 pound whole sugar pumpkin. thick-bottomed pot (5 to 6 quart). 4 Strip the meat from the ham hock. Add 1 to 2 cups of water to the soup to thin it to your preference. Remove the bay leaves before serving. peeled and chopped 2 15-ounce cans of cannellini white beans. Add the stock. 3 Remove the ham hock from the soup pot. leaves roughly chopped Freshly ground black pepper to taste METHOD 1 Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large. rinsed and drained 6 sprigs of thyme. Add freshly ground black pepper and adjust seasonings to taste.             2 cups chopped yellow onion 3 bay leaves 2 stalks of celery. tied with string (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme) 1 large sage leaf (optional) 4 large Swiss chard leaves (can substitute kale). 2 Add the chopped pumpkin and the ham hock to the pot. center rib removed. to a plate to let cool enough to handle. uncovered. until slightly softened.

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