Slow Cooker Bean, Ham and Kale Soup
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours or 8 hours
1 ham hock, ham shank, or other ham bone
2 cup of diced ham (in a pinch you can substitute thick bacon cooked crisp)
6 cups stock (I use chicken but any will do).
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 med sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 bay leaves
15 ounces tomato, diced (drained if desired)
3 cans Black eyed peas (or 2 cups of dry beans soaked over night and pre-cooked)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 bunch of fresh kale, chopped to bite sized pieces. Chard can be a substitute but it can be slimy when reheated.
Saute onions and celery for a minute or two until they become soft. This prevents that boiled onion taste, that ruins most slow cooker meals.
Place all of the ingredients (except greens and potatoes) into the slow cooker.
Cook on the high temperature setting for about 4 hours or cook on the low temperature setting for about 8 hours.
With 2 hours left to go add the potatoes. This keep them from getting mushy. You can add them earlier, but it may be more like a stew. You can also pre-cook the potatoes and them at the very end with the greens.
Remove the ham bones from the slow cooker, cool slightly, and remove the meat from the bones; then discard the bones, fat, and skin, and add the meat (if any) back into the slow cooker. Add in greens. Continue to cook the soup for an additional 30 minutes prior to serving.
Tip: Make this soup ahead, if possible, because it tastes better on the second day.