Smoked Knuckle Bean Soup

Dried beans are a great source of fiber, protein, B vitamins including folic acid and essential minerals.  Rounded out with fresh vegetables and a smoked pork knuckle in a healing bone broth, it becomes transcendent..


Rinse, pick over and soak dried heirloom beans in filtered water overnight.  If sprouting your beans first, allow 3 days for the beans to produce 1/4″ sprouts.

Bring chicken bone broth, water, knuckle and beans to a boil, then skim and discard the scum.  Lower the heat to medium and let cook until a second layer of foam forms, then skim and discard it.

Add chopped onions, celery, mustard seeds, bay leaf and black pepper.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are tender, about 4 hours.

Remove the knuckle and allow to cool enough to handle.  Trim away the excess fat, then dice the remaining meat and crisp in a pan as you would bacon.  Add the meat, chopped tomatoes and tender lima beans to the soup and simmer another 20 minutes before serving.

Posted as part of Real Food Wednesdays

19 thoughts on “Smoked Knuckle Bean Soup

  1. I’m really digging the new photography and the pretty dishes.
    This soup looks good enough to eat 😉

    I’ll have to try sprouting our dried beans. We eat a lot of dried bean dishes on the road, but I haven’t been able to get a good soft, non gritty, texture from them.

    • And so it was. Good enough to eat, that is. Thanks!

      Careful rinsing and soaking followed by a long, slow simmer will leave the beans as smooth as baby’s bottom. Sprouting adds lots of additional protein and vitamins, of course, and cooks much faster.


  2. Wow, can’t believe I’m just finding this blog. Love the idea and your bean soup looks amazing! I would have never thought to sprout my beans before cooking them, thanks for the idea and I can’t wait to try it! 🙂

    • After being mostly rejected by foodgawker and tastespotting, I’m determined to learn a few basics of food photography 😉

      Thanks, Kelly, and thanks for giving us a forum to talk about Real Food!

  3. Looks delicious! I love adding a bone to my soup. There was a great story about this “hip new” trend in the New York Times a few months back. I chucked to myself when I read it… and then made stew with some of the beef neck bones in my freezer.
    Your photo is fantastic, and the heirloom beans look amazing. Great work!

  4. I know this is old, but I am right now impatiently waiting for my heirloom beans to sprout (it’s Day 2) so that I can cook them. Thanks for the tip about how long to sprout. And the recipe looks perfect for what I want.

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