Edit ModuleShow Tags

FreshTartSteph Recipe: Ham, Bean & Sauerkraut Soup


By Stephanie Meyer

It’s hard to beat the rib-stickin’ comfort of a bowl of ham & bean soup. I prefer it brothier than the version I grew up eating, and like many soups, it’s made even better with the tang of sauerkraut.

In fact, sauerkraut’s salty acidity elevates many savory dishes, far beyond the typical brats-n-beer pairing (which is, of course, delicious). Go for traditional lacto-fermented kraut for best flavor and nutrition, then start adding it where pickled things taste best: tacos, burgers, salads, soups, egg salad, stir-fries, stroganoff (one of my faves), alongside cheese, and on anything pork. Anything. Pork.

(Recommendation: Bubbies Lacto-fermented Sauerkraut, widely available at grocery stores and co-ops. Or…make your own! This recipe via The Kitchn is a terrific read.)

I employed a couple of other tricks to boost the taste and nutrition of this soup: 1) I sprouted the beans before cooking them (which makes them easier to digest, which makes you more popular at work and at home), and 2) I included not just ham, but ham bones, for the broth. That ham bone you froze after Easter dinner? Now’s the time to pull it out and get simmering.

Ham, Bean & Sauerkraut Soup

Serves 8

1/2 lb. dry great Northern (navy) beans
3 Tbsp. olive oil or bacon fat
1 c. chopped carrots
1/2 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped onion
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 ham hocks (available in the frozen meat case of most grocery stores) or ham bone with some meat still attached (if there is no meat attached, add 1 c. diced ham)
8 c. water (use half chicken stock, half water for an extra flavor boost)
2 c. sauerkraut, with more for serving
salt and freshly ground black pepper

If you’d like to sprout the beans, which I recommend if you have a hard time digesting beans (plus it makes them more nutritious), start three days before you plan to make the soup: Soak the beans overnight in water to cover by one inch. In the morning, drain the beans in a colander. Leave them in the colander (I set the colander over a bowl so it’s steady and continues to drain) and cover with a dish towel. Two or three times a day, rinse the beans thoroughly and re-cover them. After a couple of days, you’ll notice a tiny sprout emerging. They are now sprouted and ready to cook.

If you don’t sprout the beans, do soak them overnight. Drain the beans and rinse them in a colander.

Heat a Dutch oven or small stockpot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then stir in the beans, carrots, celery, onions, caraway seeds, thyme, and bay leaves. Saute, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and starting to brown in spots. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.

Add the ham hocks, sauerkraut, water, and 1 tsp. of salt to the beans and vegetables. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low, cover, and simmer gently for 2 hours. (You can also set the pan in a 250-degree oven, or slow-cook in a crock pot.)

Remove ham from bones and stir back into the pot (discarding the bones). Season to taste with more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve garnished with additional sauerkraut.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rfischer@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

A True Farm-to-Table Dinner: Cedar + Stone Celebrates Farmers

Farmers get a special "thank you" dinner at JW Marriott's Cedar + Stone, Urban Table restaurant at Mall of America

Minnesota Wine Country: What’s New at the Minnesota State Fair

Enjoy local wines, hard cider, wine slushies, free food and wine demos and more at the Great Minnesota Get-Together

The Best (and Worst) Food Delivery Services

Twin Cities restaurant-to-your-door services, ranked

Gamertainment Go-Tos

Check out eight Twin Cities eateries to get your game on

New Specialty Brews and Beverages at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair

Quench your thirst with 40 specialty brews and beverages—here is a complete list of the 27 new and 13 returning beverages found only at this year’s Great Minnesota Get-Together

New Hotel, Great Restaurants: Stillwater Is Blowing Up

Lora Hotel, Feller Restaurant, Pearl and the Thief—what's going on in Stillwater!?

North Loop Destination: Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea

Espressos, teas, cold brews, and elixirs mean there’s something for everyone at North Loop’s new coffee and tea café

Berry Love Plus Berry Shortcake with Lime Whipped Cream Recipe

Everyone loves berries—including Justin Timberlake, the creator of the "brasberry"—but it just so happens the Twin Cities loves them more than most

3 Things to Eat This Week: July 25-29

Eat like a kid in summer: root beer popsicles, corncobs, Cubanos
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags