Friday, October 12, 2007

Basic Ham and Bean Soup

1 pound dry great Northern beans
8 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ham hock
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon mustard powder
2 bay leaves
2 cups chopped ham
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

Rinse the beans, sorting out any broken or discolored ones. In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and the beans and remove from heat. Let beans sit in the hot water for at least 60 minutes.
After the 60 minutes of soaking, return the pot to high heat and place the ham bone, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, mustard and bay leaves in the pot. Stir well, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 60 more minutes.
Remove ham bone and discard. Stir in the chopped ham and simmer for 30 more minutes. Season with ground white pepper to taste.

Okay so I made this last night and the kids and I loved it. I used the little white kidney bean (for baked beans) because they didn't have Great Northern Beans at save-on. Save on has their beans on for 20% off this week too. Also I could not find a ham hock (you can't get them unless you buy them in the 30 dollar picnic hams) so I bought a little ham and washed it and cut off the outside skin stuff and cooked that in the soup and took it out in the end. The soup still had a great ham flavor. I did have to cook the beans longer, like 45 minutes longer but it all worked out great and smelled fabulous. This will be a staple for the kids and I as it's quite cheap to make and we can eat it for lunch and supper. Oh I also ended up adding about 4 more cups of water.

I'm trying to cut back on meat intake in our house, I can't really cut back Dalen's intake but I can cut back mine and the kids so we can eat more soups and casseroles while Dalen eats the usual. I'll use lots of beans which are a lot cheaper but also provide the protein that we would be getting from the meat.

Now I'm on the search for the ultimate bread recipe.. let me know if you have a fabulous bread recipe (white of course ;)

No comments: