Warm up a winter's night with this flavorful and simple recipe for garbanzo bean, kale and smoked ham soup, created by Pond Hill Farm Garden Cafe chef Scott Schornak.
1 quart dried garbanzos, sorted, rinsed, soaked overnight
2 tablespoons olive oil or reserved bacon fat
1 quart diced yellow onion
¼ cup minced garlic
1 smoked ham hock
3 quarts water
6 quarts kale, ribs removed, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste (probably about 1 tablespoon salt, depending on your taste and how much comes out of ham)
Sort garbanzo beans looking for foreign objects, rinse, and cover with plenty of water. Refrigerate overnight.
In a large pot, heat bacon fat or olive oil over medium flame; sweat onions, stirring frequently until translucent (about 10 minutes). Add garlic and cook an additional three minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic or onions. Add smoked ham hock and water and simmer for 1½ hours. Drain garbanzo beans, add to pot, and simmer an additional hour or so until tender, adding water if necessary. Remove ham hock, pick the meat from the bone, chop ham, and add back to soup. Season soup, add chopped kale, and simmer 10 minutes. This makes a big batch but leftovers freeze well.
To save time, or just to be able to make a smaller batch, substitute drained, canned garbanzo beans and chopped ham for the dried beans and ham hock.