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Smoked ham hock and heirloom bean soup

Recipe by:Executive Chef Toby Barajas
Savory Café, Woodland


  • 5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    1 yellow or white onion, chopped
    2 to 3 stalks celery, chopped
    2 to 3 carrots, chopped
    2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 oz. tomato paste
    3 tsp. curry powder
    1 cup white wine
    4 quarts chicken or beef stock
    2 to 3 tsp. chicken bouillon
    3 dried bay leaves or 1 fresh
    1 smoked ham hock
    3 cups heirloom beans, rinsed and soaked 6 to 8 hours
    2 cups blanched kale or spinach
    Parmesan cheese and chopped cilantro, for garnish


In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, cook onion, celery and carrots in 3 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat for
5 to 6 minutes to caramelize vegetables. Stir in garlic and cook an additional 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.

Push all vegetables to the side of the pot and add an additional 1 tbsp. oil. Quickly stir in curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, being careful not to burn the powder. Immediately combine cooked powder with vegetables and deglaze with wine. Turn heat to high and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in stock, bouillon, bay leaves, ham hock and beans. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until beans are tender. Stir in greens 2 to 3 minutes before serving. Garnish with parmesan cheese, cilantro and remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil.

Serves 8 to 10

Photo: © 2019 Fred Greaves

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