Its a fact. Unless we have gnawed on them, I am unable to toss most bones into the trash without first coaxing every last bit of goodness out of them by making soup or stock with them. In fact most of the items in our little freezer are bones waiting to be made into stock or stock waiting to be used in soups, risottos or anything else needing a shot of flavour.
This soup was inspired by the bone leftover from the Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder I made awhile back. Plus, there was already a ham bone in our freezer… If you dont happen to have a ham bone at the ready, you can always sub a smoked ham hock or just add a few more pork bones.
Salt is added at the end as the ham bone will add some salt of it’s own. It is also rumoured that adding salt too early will cause the beans to be tough, so don’t salt until the end.
You will need to remember to start soaking your beans the night before.
Bean Soup with Pork
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, cut into 1/4″ dice
2 stalks celery, 1/4 inch slices
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 lbs other pork bones (like from the pork shoulder you roasted last weekend)
1 ham bone
1 cup dried canellni beans soaked overnight
5 litres water
1 bay leaf
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
1 large sprig fresh oregano
salt and pepper
Make a bouquet garni for the spices: Cut a 6″ square of cheesecloth, place peppercorns, bay leaf, rosemary and oregano in centre, pull corners of cloth together and tie with kitchen string. Set aside.
Heat oil in large stock pot, over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery, stirring until onion has started to brown. About 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, and tomato paste and cook, stirring, another minute.
Add pork bones and ham bones. Drain beans from their soaking liquid. Discard liquid and add beans to stock pot.
Add 5 litres of water and bouquet garni. Bring to boil over high heat, skimming any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 3 – 4 hours, until beans are tender. You may need to add some water during this process if your stock reduces too much. Try to keep the bones barely covered.
Remove from heat and fish out bouquet garni and the bones. Discard bouquet garni. Set the bones aside.
Cool soup in pot for half an hour, undisturbed which will allow fat will rise to the top. Carefully skim off as much as possible. OR… if you are not planning to have this for dinner tonight, cool to room temp, then refrigerate overnight. Skim off fat before reheating.
Once the bones are cool enough to handle, remove meat from them. Put the meat, minus the bones and any gristle and fat, back into the soup.
Taste for seasoning and adding salt and pepper to suit your taste. Reheat before serving if necessary.
This will keep in the fridge for 3 days. It also freezes very well for up to a month.
COOKS NOTE: Next time I make this, I will add a dried chipotle chile to add a bit of spice and some smokey flavour.