When it's cold and all you want to do is keep warm and toasty, the best thing you can do is whip up a big batch of delicious soup. On days like these, there's nothing more comforting than pork and white bean soup. (Okay, maybe some stained wool slippers, but you can't eat them!)

This pork and bean soup is one of my favorite recipes on the web, and one that my dad has been making for the family for decades. It makes a big batch (double everything) and since it gets better as the days go by, we'll enjoy it for dinner one night and then for lunch several days later.

Why do some stews and soups get better the next day? I think the reason is that the flavors of the beans, pork and vegetables have time to blend. The starch from the beans settles more in the broth, making the stew thicker and more soup-like. 

This recipe uses smoked pork shank or pork shank to make the rich gravy for soup. Pork leg tends to have more meat on it (soup photos show meat from pork leg).

 Think of the hock as the “ankle” of a pig, directly above the feet. Legs below the shoulder (front) or pork (back leg). 

I recommend using Sanx for this recipe if you have a choice. If you use pork shank and you like meat soup, you might want to add some chopped beef to your soup.


* Ingredients :


° 1 pound of dried northern beans

° 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

° 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

° 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

° 7 cups of high-quality or homemade chicken or turkey broth

° 1 smoked pork

° 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

° 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

° 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

° 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


* Directions :


Rinse and sort the beans to remove any residue. Soak the beans in a large amount of cold water overnight. You can also soak quickly instead of overnight. For a quick soak of beans, place the washed and sorted beans in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Cover with 2 inches of water.


Bring to a boil over a high heat; Once it boils, turn off the heat and cover. Leave for an hour, in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over a medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic and a pinch of salt.


Fry the onion until soft and translucent for about 5 minutes, then strain the soaked beans in the water, then add the onion broth, pork veins, salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it boils, reduce the heat, let it simmer and cover.


Simmer for 30 minutes, then add the beans and cook over low heat for an hour and a half to two hours without a cover until the beans are soft. 5 minutes before the beans are done, add the oregano and parsley and stir.


Remove the pork from the shank of the pork, chop it, and put it back into the stew, if desired. Taste and add any salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm


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