Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bean Soup

Okay, I'm gonna be a foodie today.  I actually boiled a ham bone into soup recently.  (And by recently, I mean a few months ago, when it was still cold.)

I've kept the ham bone after every ham we've ever eaten, and usually forget to use it.  When I go to put a fresh one in the freezer, I pull out the old one and throw it away.  This year, I decided, would be different.

I loosely followed this recipe for the stock:

  • 1 ham bone
  • 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 carrots, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 celery ribs, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • water to cover
I let it boil for a few hours, and the house smelled really nice.  I liked using whole spices in it.  I've never done that with a soup before.

My bone still had a substantial amount of meat on it, and since I added beans to the actual soup, it packed a wallop of protein.  Here's what I did with my homemade stock:

Black Bean Soup (from McCall's Cooking School)
2 cups (1 lb) dried black beans
Cold water
1 leek
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cans condensed beef broth (this is where I used my ham stock instead)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tbsp butter or margarine
Chopped red, yellow and green onions (optional)
Tortilla chips (optional)

Soak the beans (overnight or quick-soak.)

Drain the soaked beans; discard soaking water.  Return drained beans to a Dutch oven and add fresh cold water to cover beans.  Bring beans and water to boiling over high heat; reduce heat, cover Dutch oven and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender.

Drain the cooked beans, reserving liquid.  Set beans and reserved liquid aside.

Trim leek:  Cut off root and and green stem.  (Leek should be about 5 inches long after trimming.)  wash leek thoroughly to remove dirt and sand.  Cut on diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Heat vegetable oil in Dutch oven over high heat.  When hot, add leek, onion and garlic.  Saute until vegetables are browned, about 5 minutes.

Add reserved bean liquid and, if necessary, water to the beef broth ham stock to make 6 cups liquid.

Add salt, brown sugar and beans to leek mixture.  Stir in ham stock mixture.  (I also added all the bite-size chunks of ham I pulled off the ham bone after making my stock.)  Bring to boiling over high heat; cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 10 minutes; stir in butter.  Serve soup topped with chopped onions and tortilla chips.  Makes 12 servings.

I don't even like beans, and I thought this was delicious!

No comments: