Bean Soup

17 06 2010

I {heart} legumes. This week I made my grandma’s recipe for a bean soup I remembered as a kid. In my visit last week we talked about soup, my grandpa loved soup and so do I. She makes this bean soup with a ham hock (a real thing, I just googled it, thought it was slang). So if you are a lover of ham, go ahead. I used organic chicken bouillon powder instead – or you can use the low sodium veggie ham or chicken bouillon. To serve, for some reason we seasoned this soup with a splash of white vinegar, not sure why, maybe someone out there does. That’s just the way it is and it tastes like 1979.

1 cup Speckled Beans (might be a speckled kidney, I saw some at Planet, my grandma just gave me a cup)

3 Bay Leaves (I have some dried from grandma’s plant)

8 cups of Filtered Water (estimate)

2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes (or your equivalent, to taste though, can be too salty)

1 tbsp Flour (had to get this off grandma too, she might as well made the soup for me. you can use other thickeners like kuzu or cornstarch)

1/2 cup Sour Creme

1-2 cups Milk (or your equivalent, I am doing this old school the best I can)

White Table Vinegar for ‘garnish’

Soak the beans overnight, I did for two days because I ran out of time to make the soup the next day. I just rinsed them and replaced the water. They will turn into 2 cups of soaked beans. Put the beans into a soup pot, add enough water to cover the beans plus one inch of water above the beans. Add the bay leaves and bouillon (if you choose to go ham hock, I think you add it here), bring to low boil, cook, stirring once in a while. Get comfortable, don’t plan to leave the house, you are kitchen bound for a few hours. As the water absorbs add more, so it is one inch above the beans. After a couple of hours, start to test the beans for softness, you want them to be real soft. Keep cooking. I left the lid off, but not totally, like an inch or two open for the steam to mostly escape. Be careful adding water near the end of the cooking time (up to 5 hours depending on the beans and pre-soak success) because you don’t want to much water. You want the beans to be almost even with the water, like 1 cm of water over the beans.

When the beans are done mix together 1/2 cup sour creme and 1 tbsp flour. (You could use a bit less sour creme, I used organic thick sour creme and it might have been a bit too much. I left the soup covered and off the heat and the flavours are coming through as time goes by, like all soups, they are so much better with time.) Add the sour creme + flour mixture to the soup. Add 1-2 cups of milk (I ended up using 1/2 cup of Tony’s creme for his coffee, sorry Tony, and 1/2 cup home-made almond milk, forgot to pick up milk). Mix in one cup of milk at a time, I think 2 cups is too much, but you decide based on what you think. I heated this up and then turned the heat off, covered it and let sit. I’ll dig into it for dinner later. Remember to add a splash of vinegar. Mmmm…memories.

Eat Well, Be Well,

Nat

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