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:

beentheredonethat 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.