Red kidney beans can be used in the place of white beans. You can also make this soup by using leftover red or white beans from Monday’s lunch.
1 large package Great Northern beans
2 pieces heavy smoked ham hocks
1 cup julienned Chef John Folse's smoked tasso
¾ cup oil
2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers
¼ cup minced garlic
2 cups diced tomatoes
water as needed
1 bay leaf
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Presoak dried beans overnight in cold water. Drain and wash beans again before cooking. In a 2-gallon stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic and tomatoes. Sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add ham hocks and tasso. Continue to sauté for an additional 5 minutes. Stir beans into vegetable mixture and sauté 2 minutes. Pour in enough cold water to cover beans by 2 inches. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 1 hour. Once beans begin to become tender, mash them against side of pot to create creaminess. Season with bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer approximately 1½ hours, continuing to stir and mash beans occasionally. Soup is ready when it has reached the creamy white consistency of cream of mushroom soup. Adjust seasonings if necessary.