Black Bean and Ham Hock soup

My Grandma Harris did not like to cook. I don’t have many memories of her in the kitchen, except for one, and it doesn’t really involve cooking.

Grandma Harris lived simply and didn’t have much, but she loved her grand-kids and shared with us what little she had. One of my favorite memories of her is when she would take my sister Stephanie and me fishing.

Before we left the house, she’d rummage through her fridge and pull out white bread, bologna, mayo and mustard. I liked mine with pickles. We made ourselves a few sandwiches, took the fishing gear and headed for Sarasota bay.

I don’t remember the fishing as vividly as I remember taking a break to sit on a bench and enjoy that bologna sandwich.  It’s probably been fifteen years since I’ve had one of those…

Despite my grandma’s aversion towards cooking, my Grandpa Harris had a knack for it.

he passed away when I was young, so I didn’t get to know him very well, but my mom told me that he always made navy bean and ham hock soup. Sure enough, she took after my grandpa, because her all time, hands down, best dish ever, is her black bean and ham hock soup.

Mom’s Black Bean and Ham Hock Soup

Takes about 6 hrs in the crock pot.


  • Medium yellow onion, chopped.
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • One bell pepper, macedoine (medium dice)
  • 1-2 jalapeno seeds removed, brunoise (fine dice)
  • 4 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 2-3 smoked ham hocks
  • about a quart and a half of home-made chicken stock
  • Cumin, about 2 tsp
  • Ground Sage, 1/4 tsp
  • dried thyme, 1/4 tsp
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Put all your ingredients in the crock pot. Nestle the ham hocks in the center.
  2. Cook on high for the first half, then set the crock pot to its low setting for the second half of cooking.
  3. Depouillage when necessary. (Skim off the impurities on the top i.e excess fat)
  4. Before serving, remove ham hocks from the soup. Take the meat off the bones and shred it into smaller bite size pieces.
  5. Return the meat back to the soup and serve. 20150202_175839

I like to eat the soup as is, but you can certainly cook some rice to go along with it.

Bon appetit! (sorry for the bad lighting)

Bon appetit! (sorry for the bad lighting)

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Annie says:

    Guess what will be on the menu in a week or so… 🙂 great recipe, Sue (thanks, Em)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great! Let me know when you make it!


  2. Christina says:

    Grandma and her bologna sandwiches. Thanks for posting this one, it made me smile to remember that. I’m going to try making this soup.


  3. Annie Nordby says:

    Dear bunnyandbutter, I reaad somewhere that I could save fresh garlic by putting it in oil once it was peeled. How long will it last that way, and should I have put it in the fridge? Love, dumbbunny 🙂


    1. Okay, so I did a little research because I wasn’t sure on that one.

      I would throw the garlic away. It would be safe if you kept it in the refrigerator for a couple weeks or in the freezer. But because garlic is a low acid food, it has the capabilities of allowing some nasty bacteria growth. Even in oil


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