4pound bone-in smoked picnic shoulder or a large meaty ham bone
4cups yellow onion, large dice (about 4 medium onions)
4cups celery, large dice (about 3-4 stalks)
4cups carrots, large dice (about 4-5 medium carrots)
4 sprigs fresh parsley with stems
2 whole crushed garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
4 whole peppercorns
Ham stock from above, about 2quarts
1quart vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 slices bacon, diced
1 1/2cups leeks, white only, cleaned of sand and diced
1cup celery, small dice, about two large stalks
2 1/2cups carrots, bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dry thyme
3 bay leaves
1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
8ounces Parmesan cheese rinds, optional (If you do not have any Parmesan rinds, add a cup of grated Parmesan cheese instead as the soup cooks)
1 1/2pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced into bite sized pieces
1 head Tuscan kale, cleaned from ribs and cut up (about four cups)
2cups frozen kernel corn, thawed
1 15.5–ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2pounds leftover ham from smoked shoulder (or purchase a deli ham steak and dice if you started stock with a meaty ham bone instead of a smoked shoulder)
1cup light cream, or half and half if light cream is not available
Start by making the stock. Place the smoked shoulder into an 8-12 quart pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Discard water then add smoked shoulder back in with all stock ingredients and bring to a boil again. (This first step will remove any excess salt)
Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for three hours. Strain stock and pick meat from bone. Discard the rest. Skim fat from top of stock and discard. (This step can be done in advance and the stock frozen until needed. Cool and freeze in zip lock gallon bags.) You should be left with two quarts of stock and two pounds of meat.
Mix ham stock with vegetable stock and heat. Taste and adjust seasoning, but salt only if needed.
In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed soup pot, heat oil over medium high heat and add bacon. Cook for 7-8 minutes until just short of crispy.
Add leeks, celery and carrots and cook for five minutes.
Add garlic and cook one minute.
Add stock, thyme, bay leaves, tomato and Parmesan rinds or grated Parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are just short of tender.
Add potatoes and kale and bring back to a boil then simmer until tender, about five minutes.
Add corn, beans and diced ham and simmer five minutes.
Stir in cream and remove from heat.
Pick out bay leaves and Parmesan rinds and discard. Serve immediately.
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