Monday, October 28, 2013

Hearty Ham and Bean Soup

Haven't we discussed this before?  Me, enjoying cooking things I don't care to eat?   Is anyone else that way?  I love cooking everything even if I don't always feel like I would put it in my mouth for love nor money!  I love this way this smells cooking, just LOVE it.  I don't do beans, we all know this from Chefwannabe secret #3044 or something.  Maybe I am odd.  But I don't think I can be the only one!
This is a dish that was an old standby growing up.  If we had ham, which was afforded only on holidays, my mom never threw the ham bone out.  She always made a huge pot of ham and bean soup.  Yuck!   My mom was never big on lots of seasoning, and this is one dish, I agree with her on.  Basics my friends, just the basics.  Let the ham and chicken stock do the work.  My mom of course used all water, but I decided to add that little extra element of flavor by trading out half with chicken stock.  I tasted the broth, and it was awesome!
Some of you are wondering if you can do this with canned beans, and the answer is yes.  You can.  But if you have the time, do dried.  Do not salt your soup, your ham and stock should take care of that.  Let anyone who wants to raise their blood pressure a couple of hundred points add their own!  (btw that comment comes from a salt fanatic working hard to not use AS much)  Anyway if you use canned beans, you don't need to cook it as long, just long enough to infuse beautiful ham flavor into them.  I would say an hour, on a low simmer. 

Enjoy this dish friends!  Good old home cookin'!
2 cups dried white northern beans
1 lb ham bone or ham hocks
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 small onion diced fine
1 small carrot grated
1 cup dice ham (optional)

The night before.....

In a large bowl, add in dried beans.  Add water, until they are covered plus about 3 inches.  DO NOT SALT.  Let sit overnight. 

After a long rest......

In a large pot, add in onions, carrot, ham bone, beans, water, ham (if using) and stock.  Give a good stir and simmer for 2 hours, or until beans are tender, stirring every 30 minutes or so.  The more you stir, the thicker your soup will be. Roughing up the beans will smoosh them and allow the soup to thicken more. Simmer with the lid off the last 30 minutes.  I served up a bowl that was more soupy and then thickened up the rest!

Slow Cooker Method:
Add all ingredients to slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.  You will have a more soup like consistency so using an immersion blender, blend your soup slightly.  You can do this by adding about 1/3 of your soup into a food processor or blender and adding it back in as well!

Your "me no likey beans" Chefwannabe

1 comment: