French Market “18 Bean” Soup



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)


  • 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)


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.


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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