Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ham Shank, Kale and White Bean Soup

Once again, I found myself in possession of a hunk of protein for a very low cost. In this case, a ham shank.

I figured that the shank could be cooked the same way as the hock, since they're just different parts of the piggy leg.

So I boiled said shank for about 90 minutes, removed it from the resulting porky broth, cooled, and separated meat from doggy bits.

After that, the broth was refrigerated until cold, in order to remove the fat. Then I clarified the broth using 2 egg whites mixed with a little cold water and the crushed up shells. (I found various ways to clarify - I picked the easiest, simmering broth, dump in cold beaten egg whites, cover and let simmer 10 minutes, remove from heat, let sit 10 minutes, strain through cheesecloth, or, in my case, paper towels.)

The whole clarifying thing probably wasn't necessary, but if you've ever made piggy broth before, you know it's cloudy with unattractive protein.

For the soup, I sautéed onion, garlic, carrot and celery for a bit with a lot of paprika, then added most of the broth and the chopped up meat. Simmered for a while to soften the veggies, then added chopped kale, simmered a while to wilt it, then a can of white beans, and simmered just to heat through.

Of course salt and pepper were added along the way.

Hubby, who normally dislikes my soups, loved this. Went back for a 2nd bowl, and packed himself leftovers (!) for lunch for the next day.


Kevin said...

That soup sounds good. Soup made with ham is so tasty. This is the first time that I have heard of clarifying. I will have to try it.

Vicki said...

This is the first time I've ever clarified a broth - it didn't get it completely clear, but you could definitely see a difference.