It’s grey here and I’m doing the last of my shopping early this morning but then I want to hunker down and just hang-out at home.  This means that having something simmering on the stove is called for so that my “Little House On The Prairies” feel is truly in place. 
The ‘prairies’ that I’d really love to be on is in France.  When I was in school, my friend Sophie would bring us over to her parents’ place every so often and we’d be fed to the gills by her adorable Mama.
One of my favourites was this white bean dish that was sort of a soup and sort of a stew.  Whatever, it was fabulous and I think that I’ve finally cracked the recipe, or at least it fits my memories, fills my kitchen with cosy smells and will fill my wee one’s belly with warmth on a grey day.
I’ve started with 2 ribs of celery, a medium carrot and an onion (all diced) and sweated them in a heavy pot with 1 T. of really fruity olive oil.
When the vegetables are soft add; 1 mashed garlic clove, 2 tsp. herbes de provence (a mixture of lavendar, thyme, mint and rosemary) and a ham hock (you could just use a ham bone or if you are in the south smoked pig’s feet would be an alternative).
Add two cups of navy beans (little white beans) that have been soaked in water overnight and drained.
Add 4 cups of chicken stock.
Simmer (barely cooking) for four-five hours.  Stirring each time that you happen to be in the kitchen.
When the beans are soft and at least half of the stock has evaporated serve with some nice granary bread and chunks of cheese.  I also like to at this point break the hock up so that the meat is dispersed.
Happy Saturday!