Navy Bean Soup with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Ingredients
1 lb. navy beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
10 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary
1 bay leaves
3 Tbs. Hojiblanca EVOO, plus extra for drizzling
1 c. diced yellow onions
1 c. diced celery
4 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 c. diced carrots
2 large smoked ham hocks
8 c. low-sodium chicken stockĀ  (6 c. if using crock pot)
Hickory Smoked Sea Salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 Tbs. Sherry Vinegar

Preparation: The night before, place the beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water by about 2 inches. Leave to sit overnight. When ready to prepare, drain and reserve. Tie the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf together with kitchen twine. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, carrots and celery. Sautee until vegetables are fragrant and transparent. Add the beans, herb bundle and hocks, along with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and adjust the heat so the soup cooks at a gentle simmer. Cook until the beans and hock are completely tender, about 1-1/2 hours (If using a crock pot, cook for 8 hours on high). Turn off the heat and remove the hocks. Cool slightly. Remove the meat from the hocks, discarding the bones, fat, and skin. Cut the meat into small cubes. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Puree about 3 cups of the beans with some of the liquid in a blender. Stir the puree and diced meat into the soup. Add the vinegar. Heat the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed with hickory smoked salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls. Drizzle 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil over each. Serve with crusty bread.