French Market “18 Bean” Soup

Standard

revised22

I always make a bean soup using our ham bone the weekend after Christmas. It is part of the holiday season that we all look forward to — watching a great football game as we sit in front of the fireplace with a nice bowl of soup. We cut away as much of our Christmas ham as we can and throw that bone in a pot with beans and vegetables . . . and a little Christmas magic happens. This recipe yields a wonderfully savory soup that is filling and perfect with sandwiches, cornbread, or a crusty loaf.


FRENCH MARKET “18 BEAN” SOUP (serves 10-12)

Ingredients

  • 2 qts. Cold tap or spring water
  • 1 qt. chicken stock, fresh or canned
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 meaty country ham hock or beef bone (3/4-1 lb.)
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1-2 tsp. salt (or to your taste)
  • 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 c. chopped onions
  • 2 c. chopped celery (include some laves)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 6 oz. Andouille or zesty smoked sausage, diced (pork or beef)
  • 8 oz. (2 medium) fresh chicken breast halves
  • Tabasco sauce (optional)

Directions

1)   Sort through and thoroughly wash beans.  Soak beans 4 hours or overnight in water to cover by 2 inches.

2)   Drain and rinse the beans.  In a large pot (6-8 qt. capacity), combine the beans, 2 qts. Cold water, chicken stock, pepper, ham hock or beef bone and bouquet garni.  Cover and bring to boil.  Lower heat to medium low and cook covered 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

3)   Add salt, tomatoes (chopped, including all the juice), onions, celery, garlic, sausage, and chicken.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook for an additional 1 ½ hours.  During the last ½ hour, stir the bottom of the pot as the soup should thicken.

4)   Locate and remove ham hock (or beef bone), chicken breast, and bouquet garni onto a plate to cool.  Discard bouquet garni.  Place all meats onto a clean cutting board.  Carefully locate and discard bone and fat.  Dice meats fine and return them to soup.  Serve immediately or (for best flavor) refrigerate and reheat the next day.

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About Worth Stopping By . . .

I am a blogger who would rather talk than write. I enjoy traveling, family time, friends and food/fine dining. I have made some real efforts in the kitchen lately, and I blog in order to document and motivate myself to: 1.) fully use all of the fresh ingredients in my kitchen and 2.) cook healthy, creative meals.

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