This creamy, rustic, and hearty white bean and ham hock stew is delicious and satisfying on a cold day. This old fashioned ham hock and bean soup/stew is oozing with flavor. If you’re looking for more bean recipes, you should check out this black bean soup with masa dumplings next!
Just smelling white beans and ham hock cooking on the stove elicits a warm and nostalgic feeling, like being home for the holidays or coming home to grandma’s cooking.
This nutrient-packed stew is so flavorful, all the ingredients blend well together even more as the days pass. It freezes great too and leftovers, if there are any, are happily devoured! It’s so simple and easy to make.
The best part is it’s a one pot meal. All you need are a handful of ingredients.
What you will need for this bean and ham hock stew
Ham hock is the secret ingredient this stew needs to get amazing depth and a full range of flavor. It’s a chunky, cost-efficient piece of bone surrounded by collagen, connective tissue and meat then wrapped in fat and skin.
Ham hocks make many dishes better. It lends a salty, smoky flavor to dishes. Typically, ham hocks are cured then smoked and excellent to eat on its own but its true essence is to make magical soups and stews.
When ham hocks slow-cook in liquid, the collagen, connective tissue and fat slowly break apart and lend its amazing salty richness to the broth. Aside from this, protein-rich ham hocks provide a meaty texture that is incredibly filling.
Stews and soups are always a great way to pack in lots of healthy vegetables. Vegetables provide fresh flavors and bright colors to our white bean and ham hock stew. We’re adding celery and carrots for their flavor and texture.
White beans have white shells and starchy insides. For this particular soup we’re using great northern beans. Great northern beans have a delicate flavor that compliments most dishes. These medium-sized thin skinned beans are light in flavor and are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, potassium and dietary fiber.
When you don’t have great northern beans in stock at home, any dry beans or canned beans like cannellini beans (white kidney beans), or navy beans work as suitable stand-ins.
Seasoning and aromatics
Onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, black pepper and salt will all add additional flavor to the soup.
Olive oil is my preferred oil to use in this stew. Vegetable oil or canola oil may also be used.
How to make great northern bean stew
Heat up the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot add the diced onion and cook for about 3 minutes.
Then add the garlic. Season with black pepper and thyme. Cook for one more minute.
Next add the bay leaf, beans, ham hock and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for about 2 1/2 hours.
Now it’s time to remove the ham hock and transfer it to a plate to cool.
Start mashing the beans with a potato masher. Season with salt to taste.
Mashing the beans is what’s going to thicken up this stew/soup.
You can also puree the beans using a blender, food processor or immersion blender.
Once the beans are good and mashed go ahead and add the chopped carrots and celery.
Continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
While waiting for the veggies to become tender remove the meat from the ham hock and discard the fatty pieces.
Shred the meat.
When the veggies are tender, stir in the shredded meat.
Now the soup is ready to be served.
What to serve with it?
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White bean ham hock stew recipe
This rustic and hearty stew is just what you need during these cold fall and winter months. It’s a good soup to warm up the body and soul. Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments below and don’t forget to leave it a rating. Thanks for visiting!
White Bean and Ham Hock Stew
This rustic and hearty stew is perfect for the chilly fall and winter seasons.
- 1 lb great northern beans rinsed
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 lb ham hock
- 8 cups water
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 celery ribs chopped
- 2 whole carrots chopped
- salt to taste
- 1 bay leaf
Heat up the oil in a dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Once hot add the diced onion and cook for 3 min.
Then add the garlic. Season with the black pepper and thyme. Cook for one more minute.
Next add the bay leaf, beans, ham hock and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 2 1/2 hours.
Then remove the ham hock and transfer to a plate to cool.
Mash the beans with a potato masher. Season with salt to taste.
Add the chopped carrots and celery. Cover and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
While the veggies are simmering go ahead and remove the meat from the ham hock. Discard the fatty pieces. Shred the meat. When the veggies are tender stir in the shredded meat.
Serve and enjoy.