Dear SOS: I recently was in Aspen, Colo., on a trip through the Rocky Mountains. The ham and bean soup at the Creperie du Village was wonderful. Is there any way you might be able to get the recipe? -- Barry Kob, Palm Desert, Calif.
Dear Barry: Ham and beans are a classic combination, and this soup doesn't disappoint in the slightest. Great Northern beans are gently cooked with aromatic vegetables and herbs to creamy tenderness, with chopped bacon and ham folded in toward the end. Creperie du Village was happy to share its recipe for this hearty dish, which we've adapted below.
Creperie du Village's Soupe Aux Haricot Blanc
Makes a generous 4 quarts of soup, to serve 8 to 16. Total time: 1 1/2 hours, plus overnight soaking for the beans. Adapted from chef Jason DeBacker, Creperie du Village, Aspen, Colo.
1 pound dried Great Northern beans
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
6 ribs celery, diced
2 tomatoes, chopped
7 cloves garlic
2 1/2 tablespoons herbes de Provence (sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, oregano, basil and tarragon)