If you have the time, soak the beans overnight instead of using the quick-soak method called for; this will result in creamier beans. This high-fiber soup is also great when made with dried cannellini beans. Serve with your favorite corn bread recipe.
1 (16-ounce) package dried navy beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
4 cups water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 smoked ham hocks (about 1 pound)
2 bay leaves
1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
How to Make It
Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain.
Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add onion; cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add drained beans, broth, and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Discard bay leaves.
Remove ham hocks with a slotted spoon, and cool slightly. Remove meat from bones; discard fat, gristle, and bones. Shred meat with 2 forks.
Place 1 cup of bean mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Return pureed bean mixture to pan; stir until blended. Stir in meat.