Monday, April 03, 2006

Bean Soup Superb

Superb Ham and Bean Soup

1 meaty ham bone and any leftover scraps of meat
1 16-ounce can pinto beans
1 16-ounce can black beans
1 16-ounce can black-eyed peas
1 16-ounce can great northern white beans (or navy beans)
1 16-ounce can red kidney beans
1 can lentil soup
6 quarts water
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of ginger
2 celery stalks, split lengthwise
1/2 pound Ditalini pasta (precooked)
salt and pepper to taste
Place ham bone, meat scraps, celery stalks, minced garlic, ginger, and chopped onions in a large stock pot (a 10-quart pot works well). Add approximately 6 quarts of water so the pot is about 3/4 full. Place the lid on the pot slightly off-center to allow steam to escape. Boil on medium-high heat for 3 hours, adding enough water every 1/2 hour to keep the pot at 3/4 full.
Remove the ham bone and take off the meat, cutting it into small bits, discarding fat. Put the lean meat back into the soup pot. Drain the liquid from all the cans of beans and add the beans to the pot. Add the lentil soup, crushed tomatoes, and lemon juice.
Reduce heat to medium.
In a separate pot, boil the 1/2 pound of Ditalini pasta until just tender. Drain and add the pasta to the soup pot. Continue to cook on medium heat for 1/2 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste--we found none is usually needed. Reduce heat to simmer until ready to serve.
Makes 15 to 20 servings. Soup may be frozen.
Check out this great site for bean recipes


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