Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bean soup, requested.

Sunday night, The Mike made a request for Bean Soup for Monday. He decided the coming cold weather was just begging for a rich, hearty soup.  Plus, we'd had baked ham, so he knew what to do with leftovers---er, what I could do with the leftovers!  Luckily, I still had some of Bob's bean mix on hand from last winter. I don't make bean soup very often, I'm not a seasoned cook at it like my mom was, so I decided to add the two cups of beans to a quart bottle and top it off with water to soak the beans. 
After just an hour, I knew that wasn't going to work very well---the beans had already absorbed all that water-- and moved the beans to a small plastic container, about 4x7x4, and filled it with water to about three fourth's full, beans included. This worked well overnight to soak the beans. Some beans started to split open, others just swelled a bit. About two in the afternoon I rinsed the beans well in a colander and then put them in my large AllClad pasta pot.  To this I added a diced onion, about a cup of chopped celery, and three diced/chopped carrots. Seasoned with two bay leaves.  I added a quart of Kitchen Basics Vegetable Stock, plus a quart of water. (Bob's recipe says to use 2 1/2 quarts, but I wanted a thicker soup).  For the meat, I added Beeler's Ham, which I had on hand. Some of it was baked Saturday with cloves, allspice and pineapple, and I also added the end of the ham---no bone, just the 'wrapped' end of the ham for some awesome tastiness :-)  

Bring to a boil, stir, cover and reduce to simmer for three hours minimum.   

At this point, I decided to test the theory of adding baking soda to reduce the magical toots of beans.  I added about two teaspoons and it fizzed like crazy chemistry fun. 
It didn't eliminate the issue, but has seemed to diminish the quantity.  
After three hours, this is what the soup looked like. Pretty thick, with only about a inch or less of liquid on top, making it a hearty soup. 
I removed the end ham piece and soooo easily shredded it in the bowl.  This is what winter is all about: fall apart meat candy goodness. 

To go with the bean soup, I also made Bob Red Mill's cornbread.  I followed the recipe on the package, except I used tapioca, teff, buckwheat flours, and I had to bake it for about 45 minutes instead of 30 minutes. 

For future, I'd add more celery and carrots to the soup.

As the night turned colder, and the snow fell harder, it was a perfect dinner to spoon a soup.  
There's a driveway between the cornflowers and bridal wreaths!
 About five new inches of snow, and -16ºF at 7am this morning.

Bean soup
2 cups Bibs Red Mill mixed beans Soak over night
Next day (12-24 hours later):
Rinse beans, put in large stockpot.
Add: 2 quarts of water 1 diced onion Celery to taste (I added a cup rough chopped) 3 carrots, diced (or more or less for your taste) 2 bay leaves Ham. I added the leftover baked ham which I diced, plus also the end of a ham, added whole.
Bring to boil, then cover & reduce to simmer for 3 to 3.5 hours.
Before serving, remove ham and shred, then return to pan.

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