This is a hearty bean stew, with rich flavors from the ham and slow cooked cabbage. To add additional layers of flavor and texture, I topped the stew with a garnish of roasted beets and parsnips.The roasted vegetables make the dish a complete meal and elevate it from homey comfort food to dinner party fare.
The stew was inspired by a recipe from Melissa Clark. I used an heirloom variety of beans called Jacob's cattle, which are quite similar to anasazi beans in flavor, texture, and appearance. Here I slow cook the beans with the leftover bone from a bone-in ham, which eventually sloughs off a copious amount of delicious meat. One could also use a ham hock. The cabbage in the dish dissolves into a sweet, pungent essence. I've made this with both savoy and red cabbage, and both are delicious, with the red cabbage making a slightly more hearty soup. —Fairmount_market
anasazi beans or a similar variety, rinsed
ham bone from a bone-in ham, ham shank, or ham hock
small or 1/2 regular sized cabbage, finely chopped
carrots, peeled and sliced
celery stocks, sliced
garlic cloves, finely chopped
serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
cups water, or more as needed
parsnips, peeled and chopped into ~1 inch chunks
small golden beets, peeled and chopped into ~1 inch chunks
In a slow cooker or soup pot, combine all of the stew ingredients (up to the water in the ingredient list). Cook on low for about 4 hours until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally. If cooking on the stovetop you may need less time and more water to maintain a thick stew consistency. Remove the ham bone or hock from the pot, shred the ham from the bone, and return the meat to the pot. Adjust seasonings to taste.
About 45 minutes before you plan to serve the soup, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel and chop the parsnips and beets. In an oven safe dish, toss the vegetables in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and browned. Serve the stew with a spoonful of roasted vegetables on top.
I'm a biology professor and mother of two, and in my (limited) free time I love to cook, which is much more forgiving than laboratory science. Last year I helped start a farmers market in my neighborhood, and to promote it, I created a food blog: fairmountmarket.blogspot.com. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with recipes for local, seasonal ingredients and finding fun ways to cook with my children.