A white terrine holding smoked ham and white bean stew.

Smoked Ham, Kale and White Bean Stew

Course: Stew
Cuisine: German
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 276kcal
Author: Kris Longwell
This smoked ham, kale and white bean stew is an instant family classic. The flavors are so deep, and so comforting. Perfect for a cold, winter day. The aroma will fill your house with pure joy. This is a wonderful German stew!!
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  • 3 cups dried white beans
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or bacon fat
  • 1 large lonion chopped
  • 4 celery stalks diced
  • 1 medium carrot finely chopped (I use my food processor)
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 5 fresh bay leaves or 3 dried
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 lbs best-quality smoked ham cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tbsp whole-grain mustard
  • 1 rosemary sprig minced
  • 9 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bunch a good handful of fresh kale, large stems cut out, leaves torn into about 2-inch pieces - or you can use collard greens


  • Place the beans in a large pot with enough water to cover them by 4 inches. Soak overnight.
  • Heat the butter or bacon fat in a heavy pot (preferably a Dutch oven) over medium-high heat and add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, jalapeno, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and cayenne...and cook, stirring until the veggies have softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the ham, mustard, and rosemary, cook for 3 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
  • Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the pot along with the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook the stew at a simmer for 1 hour.
  • Add the kale and cook for 30 minutes more.
  • Turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes, discard the bay leaves.
  • You can serve the soup as is at this point, but, to make it creamier...puree 2 cups of the stew in a blender and return to the pot.
  • Taste for more seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if desired.
  • Serve with good, crusty bread, or over cooked rice.


Calories: 276kcal