Becky Luigart-Stayner
6 servings (serving size: about 1 2/3 cups)

Williams's grandmother would make a pot of beans most Mondays, and one of his favorites still is a pot of beans with ham. Here, ham hocks create a rich stock, and their smoky flavor permeates the entire dish.

How to Make It

Step 1

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 beans; rinse and drain.

Step 2

Return beans to pan; cover with 6 cups warm water. Stud whole onion with cloves; place in pan. Add celery, thyme, parsley sprigs, ham hocks, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes.

Step 3

Discard onion, thyme, parsley sprigs, and bay leaf. Remove ham hocks from pan; cool slightly. Remove meat from bones; finely chop to yield 1/3 cup meat. Discard bones, skin, and fat. Add meat, kale, potato, chopped onion, carrot, salt, and pepper to pan; stir well. Cover and simmer 30 minutes or until beans and vegetables are tender. Stir in parsley.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

Gemstone's Review

May 08, 2010
I tried this soup and found the ham hocks to be over powering. If I made it again I would just use ham or leave it out.

smellgar's Review

September 20, 2009
This recipe is a good, solid recipe. I swapped one cup of water for one cup of chicken broth and it definitely needed the extra flavor. The dish is not really a lot of work, but it does take a good amount of time between soaking the beans and boiling the ham hock. I made it on a Sunday evening, but it would not be a week night meal for us. I might make this again, but most likely not.

Brendee's Review

January 06, 2009
THis soup has great flavor. I used a Honey Baked Ham bone and 4 cups chicken broth plus 2 cups water. Added sliced carrots and used fresh spinach instead of kale. My son-in-law said "Best Ever!"

heathertup's Review

December 29, 2008
Have made this recipe a few times. If you don't want to fiddle with a ham hoc, you can use cubed ham from the deli and the flavor is just as good. Didn't fiddle with the cloves in the onion; still flavorful. Added an extra can of chicken broth for more liquid.