Heat oil in the bottom of a 4 quart or larger stock pot. Add onion and carrots, and sauté until onion begins to brown. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add ham shank and brown on all sides. Add red pepper flakes.
When shank is browned, remove vegetables from the pot and add sherry, scraping the bottom of the pan.
Add dried beans and chicken stock. Cover and cook at least 2 hours until beans are just soft. Add sun dried tomatoes and fresh spinach. Cook an additional 5 minutes to finish.
Serve with a piece of good cheese and hearty bread to complete a winter meal.