I thought I would make chicken soup today, but when I checked the freezer we had no chicken. Instead, I found 2 smoked pork chops from Mahogany Smokehouse in Bishop.. So I decided to make bean soup instead. The artisan smoked pork chops would flavor a pot of bean soup perfectly! The pork chops were vacuum-packed and frozen, so I put the package into a deep bowl of cool water to thaw.
I had a package of Bob’s Red Mill 13 Bean Soup in the pantry, so I rinsed the beans, covered them with water and let them soak. The directions on the package said to soak them overnight, but I was trying to get this soup ready in time for supper. So I drained the beans after 2 hours, and added fresh water to the pot so that the beans were covered and there was an extra inch of water on top. After the beans and water came to a boil, I lowered the flame and let them simmer for about an hour.
Meanwhile, I chopped up a brown onion, several stalks of celery, and five carrots. I found a few leaves of kale and a bunch of fresh spinach in the refrigerator (remember that amazing meat sauce I made last week with kale and spinach?), so I chopped those up too and added them to the mix. I sauteed them all together in 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Those veggies were so pretty that it was fun to stir them and watch the colors become even brighter.
The smoked pork chops had thawed out, so I cut them up into 1/2 inch cubes and added them to the skillet with the vegetables. After the beans had finished cooking and were tender, I added the contents of the skillet to the bean pot, along with 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and 2 teaspoons of dried thyme leaves. Now all I had to do was wait for the soup to simmer and the flavors to blend!
The pork chops were salty enough that I didn’t need to add any salt. I did season it with a little black pepper. The best part was added slices of creamy Fuerte avocado to the top of the soup! The Fuertes are in season during the winter months (January through March) but you probably won’t find them in stores. You can order from California Avocados Direct and get them directly from our farm! Beautifully ripe fresh avocado is the perfect topping to the smoky bean soup. All those vegetables made the soup extra-healthy…a perfect one-pot meal.