Sunday, November 2, 2014

15-Bean and Ham Soup (roughly 6 servings)


I want to make a bean soup and noticed the 15-bean variety bag at my local grocer.  The beautiful beans came in different shapes and colors.  When using any dry beans I usually soak them with plain water overnight.  This process helps soften them and make them quicker to cook.  Recently I made a batch of soup and I still have some left over fresh ingredients that needed to be used.  I just hate to waste good food.

Ingredients:

~2 lbs pork bones
16 C water
1 lb dry 15-bean bag, soaked overnight, drained off water
3 medium carrots (about 2 C), diced
2 celery ribs (about 1 C), diced
1 small bunch of parsley (1 1/4 C), chopped (plus more to garnish)
1/2 large onion (about 1 C), chopped
1 scallion, chopped
6 oz cooked ham, diced
2 tsp salt

Method:

1) In a large pot add the bones and enough water to cover them.  Once the liquid starts to boil, turn the heat slightly lower and let it gently boil for about 5 minutes.  Remove the bones and wash them well. Rinse the pot to remove the scum.
2) Return the cleaned bones back into the pot, add 16 cups water, beans, carrots, celery, parsley, onion, scallions and ham.  Cook until the liquid boils then turn down heat to a simmer and cover the pot.  Cook for about 2 hours or until the beans are soft to your liking.  Add salt according to your taste.  Garnish with extra chopped or whole parsley leaves.

an assortment of 15-bean
*Before soaking the beans make sure to sort them to remove any stones.  I remember my grandmother doing this with the rice every time I visited her in Vietnam.  She would sit there and sort out and discard anything other than rice before cooking.  Luckily the rice that we purchase here in the United States do not need to be sorted.  Imagine having to do this task each time you cook the rice!

my parents walking along the river
near their home (Fall 2014, Maine)

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