Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bean Soup

2 c. dried beans
1 1/2 quarts water
1 ham bone or 1 1/2 lbs. ham butt
1 large onion, chopped
1 c chopped celery and leaves
15 oz. can tomato sauce*
1 tsp. salt**
1/8 tsp. pepper
3 cloves garlic

Combine beans and water in a large kettle; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 2 hours. Simmer beans without draining until tender, about 2 hours, adding more water if necessary.

In the meantime simmer ham in water to cover. Skim fat from broth and add beans. Stir in remaining ingredients; simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Makes 10 servings.

* The original recipe calls for 4 cups of canned tomatoes, which I'm sure is delicious, but there are people around here who don't like any detectable tomatoes in their food.
**NEVER add any salt to a ham dish until it's almost done. Some hams are very salty and adding more just adds to the problem.

CROCK POT VERSION: Soak the beans in water the day before. Also, boil the ham bone and cut up all meat and vegetables the day before. Dump everything into the crockpot (draining the beans first) in the morning and cook on low all day. Perfect! Even Nick says this is a favorite soup.

INSTANT POT VERSION: Not surprisingly, this also worked in my instant pot.  I started with raw beans and cooked it all for 40 minutes.  The beans weren't done, so I did another 20 and it was great.  If I divided the time like this again, the last 20 minutes would be a good time to add the potatoes.  What I'll probably do though is just remember to soak the beans overnight and just pressure cook for the original 40 minutes with everything.

SOURCE: This recipe is one of my favorites from a 1959 (1972) Farm Journal's Country Cookbook.  My copy no longer has a decent binding and is in several pieces, so I'm glad to store the favorites here.  I'll probably skip the Onion Pie and Jellied Beef Mold though.

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