Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Brrrr - Time for SOUP!

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.

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:

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!

1 comment:

Ask Laurie, Sysdexlic Writer said...

These sound like really good recipes. My Grandma could only cook one dish and that was bean soup. My mother told me her secret ingredient was a little bit of fresh mint. I've never tried it but may someday.

Also, I love the bean soup recipes in the Mickey Mouse Cookbooks. These are cookbooks that are put out by Disneyworld of the most requested recipes.

For a really fast recipe, try the classic Denny's restaurant "Beef Barley Soup." This is a dump and pour soup. The most time-consuming part is frying and draining the hamburger. The rest is dump and pour.