Yellow Eye Bean Chicken Smoked Ham Vegetable Soup is a hearty winter soup, smoky in flavor, and featuring creamy beautiful Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye Beans. I made this delicious soup and shared it with friends recently, who loved how flavorful and soothing this soup was. This soup can be prepared in a pressure cooker, slow cooker or stove-top.
My cabinet has several varieties of heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo, all unique and beautiful, including Yellow Eye Beans. I love the two tone color of these beans. They are creamy and retain their yellow eyes when cooked. Dry beans are so much better than canned, and well worth the little effort it takes.
Pre-Soaking Dry Beans
Dry beans should be presoaked for best results. Not only do they cook much faster after they’ve been pre-soaked, but they also retain their shape better.
There are two ways to pre-soak dry beans:
- Place the dry beans in a large bowl, cover with plenty of water, and let sit overnight. The beans will absorb a lot of water and reach their full hydrated size.
- If you’re short on time, you can use a quick method to pre-soak dry beans. Put the beans in a pot with a few inches of water to cover, bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and let sit, covered, for 1 hour.
Once the beans are pre-soaked, they are ready to cook. Now, you can choose to cook the pre-soaked beans right into the soup like I did for this soup recipe, or you can be cook the beans in water with some aromatics (e.g., onion, garlic, bay leaf), and then add to soups. If I’m making a whole bag of beans, I usually pre-soak the entire pack, and then cook the whole batch in water with aromatics. I use what I need for soup, then refrigerate or freeze the rest for another recipe.
How To Make Bean Soup
Bean soups are very versatile. There are basically five elements:
- Aromatics (e.g., onion, garlic, carrots, celery, leek)
- Vegetables (e.g., carrots, celery, parsnips, bell peppers, chopped tomatoes, sweet potatoes, dark leafy green vegetables such as kale or Swiss chard)
- Meat, optional (chicken, lamb, pork)
- Herbs (e.g., thyme, oregano, rosemary, bay leaf, herb blends such as Herbs de Provence, Italian seasoning, Greek seasoning)
- Broth (vegetable or chicken broth)
For this bean soup, I used just onion, garlic, carrots, and celery as my aromatics and vegetables. Dried thyme scented the Magic Mineral Chicken Broth I used as the soup base. Chicken thighs on the bone add extra chicken flavor and more substance to this soup, and a piece of smoked ham hock adds some smoky flavor and compliments these yellow eye beans nicely. A piece of kombu provides extra minerals to this soup.
Bean soup can be made in a pressure cooker (cooking time depends on the type of bean you use – these took about 15 minutes), slow cooker, or stovetop. I find bean soups have even more flavor after they’ve had a chance to sit overnight in the refrigerator.
What you end up with is a delicious, hearty, smoky, beautiful bowl of Yellow Eye Bean Chicken Smoked Ham Vegetable Soup. Enjoy as is or serve with some crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth.
Yellow Eye Bean Chicken Smoked Ham Vegetable Soup
This hearty soup is pure comfort, and the yellow eye beans add unique visual appeal.
- 3 cups Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye Beans soaked overnight or brought to a boil in water, and left sitting for one hour to pre-soak
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1 cup carrot chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 8" piece kombu
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 2 chicken thighs on the bone, skin on
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
Heat olive oil in a 5-quart pressure cooker. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Saute until onions are softened and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add bay leaf, thyme, ham hock, chicken thighs, pre-soaked beans and chicken broth.
Cover and let pressure cooker heat to second ring. Reduce heat to low and cook 15 minutes or until beans are soft. Transfer chicken pieces and ham hock to a plate. Remove chicken skin and bones and return chicken meat to soup. Separate ham meat from bone and add to soup, if desired.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
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