With the exception of the miso I have kept the flavors of this soup local. Smack dab in the middle of Indiana we grow, can and freeze a lot of these ingredients, I even cure and smoke my own ham hocks. In keeping with the spirit of minestrone it is what I had on hand and it is so tasty. Besides my Coco Rubico shell beans for au pistou just went into the ground and won't be ready till late summer. - thirschfeld —thirschfeld
Test Kitchen Notes
This soup combines a number of elements that play off each other very nicely. The broth is smoky but not too salty and is a great backdrop for the caramelized onions, corn and lima beans. I loved the tip to toast the orzo before adding it to the soup -- something I was unaware of. The mustard miso pesto is delicious and adds just the right touch of sweet/salty punch. Overall, a novel set of ingredients yields a satisfying tasty minestrone. - Amber Olson —The Editors
4 to 6
smoked ham hock
1 1/2 cups
sweet corn, fresh or frozen
lima beans, fresh or frozen
baby mustard greens or chopped mustard greens, reserving some for garnish
Heat a 3 1/2 quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and the onions. Saute the onions until they are very brown and caramelized but not burned.
Remove the onions from the pan and add the ham hock. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium low and cook the hock until tender. About an hour.
While the hock is cooking put the greens in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and the miso and mix till smooth. Don't process too long or you will melt the butter. Set aside
In a small saute pan add the remaining 2 teaspoons of butter and place it over medium high heat. Add the orzo and cook until toasted and brown. Remove the orzo from the pan and let it cool before adding it to the soup. If you don't your pot will instantly boil over.
Remove the hock and take the meat off the bone. Chop the meat into small pieces and return it to the pot with the orzo, corn, limas and caramelized onions.
Once the pasta is cooked, taste and adjust the seasoning.
Ladle into bowls and top with a teaspoon of pesto and garnish with some greens. Serve.