No beads today, but the weather has brought us a wintry blast.
There has been a lot of discussion on the Essential Herbal Yahoo List about soups and chili's. For our busy weekends at our Christmas tree farm, Frog Hollow Evergreens, I always make up a pot of nice hot soup to fortify everyone working here. When there's a chance to slip away into the kitchen, these are two popular versions of bean soap that we often have ready:
The first is the one I discovered years ago. The recipe was given out along with the purchase of a bag of dried mixed beans at one of our favorite butchers, Weavers Meats in East Petersburg, PA. I love the little bit of tang that the lemon imparts.
HOLIDAY BEAN SOUP
1# Pack of mixed, dried beans
Wash beans, place in a large kettle. Cover with water 2" above bean line, soak overnight. Drain in the morning.
Add 2 qt. water, 2 Ham Hocks, bring to a boil. Add 1 large onion, 2-1/2# can of tomatoes, 1 tsp. chili powder, juice of one lemon & pepper to taste.
Simmer 3 hr., or in a crock pot - 3 hr. high, 5 hr. low.
Remove meat from bone before serving
When we had the herb shop, my husband became quite interested in cooking - out of necessity - and developed this version. It seemed that it would be bland and I hesitated to trust his creation, but it was delicious and it has become a favorite around here:
BOB'S BEAN SOUP
Sauté chopped onion (1 medium) in a little olive oil along with 2 meaty ham hocks.
While this is cooking, chop and add about a half cup of carrots and 1 good sized potato.
Cover ham with water and add bay leaf, salt, pepper, some celery seed - to your taste.
After and hour or so, add 2 large cans of Northern Beans. Continue simmering for 1-2 more hours. Remove meat from bones and return to pot. Serve and enjoy!
A nice loaf of crusty bread and some butter helps these hit the spot and warm the tummy!