I pulled a meaty ham bone out of the freezer yesterday and thought I'd make a soup somewhat different than my traditional one with lots of paprika and mint. This one is lighter but very warming and went extremely well with Tom's favorite Chuck Muer House Bread.
1 meaty ham bone (or a meaty ham shank)
1/2 pound dried Great Northern beans (or 2 cans, juice and all)
3 Tbl olive oil
1 cup diced onion
3 cloves minced garlic
2 large carrots sliced
1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
4 to 6 cups chicken broth
1/2 head small cabbage, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Soak the beans overnight in water and then the next day bring them up to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes until tender.(Skip this step if using canned beans) Save about 2 cups of the cooking liquid.
Place the ham bone in a large soup pot and cover with about 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and simmer the ham bone for 45 minutes to and hour. Remove the bone, cool a bit and then pick off the meat and reserve. Save the broth.
Saute the onion, carrot and garlic in the olive oil until softened.
Add the bay leaf and crushed red pepper and give everything a stir and then add the bean broth, ham broth and chicken broth.
Bring up to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the reserved ham and the beans and bring up to a boil again.
Add the chopped cabbage and simmer another 15 to 20 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.