Tag Archives: winter

Soup Weather

14 Jan

Bean Soup W/Holiday Ham


It’s cold and snowy outside.  Perfect soup weather.

And…I’ve got just the right soup for the occasion. My homemade bean soup which I always make shortly after Christmas, in an effort to use up the leftover ham bone. Perfect for making such a soup.

Here’s what I used:

1 ham bone, or a couple of store-bought ham hocks.

2 lbs. dried navy or other white bean (using the “quick” cook method noted on the bag)

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 med. sized carrots, finely chopped

1/2 stick butter (to saute chopped veggies)

garlic salt



dried thyme, if like (I like, but didn’t have.)

First of all, check your bag instructions. Mine said to use 6 – 8 cups cold water per 1 lb. beans. Since I used the whole 2 lb. bag, I doubled it, using the higher limit (total 16 cups). Using the quick method, you’ll rinse the beans, first in a colander, picking out the bad ones, and then pour beans into stockpot. Pour water over the beans. Cook according to directions, which was to bring to boil and boil for 2 minutes, then turn off stove and let stand, covered, for one hour.

After the hour of standing (the pot, not you), drain beans into colander, then place the ham bone or ham hocks into bottom of pot, pour beans over them, and then add new, cold water, according to instructions, which for me was: 6 cups for 1 1b.; so I doubled that to 12 cups, plus added 1 more cup, since it’s been my experience that you’ll need more water, eventually, once the soup cooks down, and the next day brings an even thicker soup, otherwise.

Okay. Once you’ve poured fresh water into the pot of ham bone/hocks and beans, add a bit of garlic salt (1 T), cover, and return to stove and cook on simmer for another 2 hours. In the last hour, or slightly less, chop your veggies. Melt butter in large saute pan and place your veggies in and add garlic salt and pepper, sauteeing until the onions and celery are transluscent and the carrots begin to soften slightly. (You could add a bit of dried thyme at this point, if you like.) Once done, set aside to cool, while you fish for the ham bone/hocks.

With tongs, pull out the ham bone/hocks and place on a cutting board. Pull away any ham you can manage and discard the bone/fat, etc. Finely chop ham and return to soup. Add in the cooked veggies. Stir gently. Taste. Add some salt (not garlic, just regular stuff) and more pepper to taste. Check your soup. It may be ready a bit sooner. You’ll know, when the beans have softened and the broth has thickened a bit.

And, that’s really all there is to making a great pot of bean soup.

Perfect soup for a lovely snowy day.


Soup Weather

16 Dec

The weathermen (and women) are all in a frenzy. They seem to get like that when a snow storm’s about to blow in. Personally, I think they need to chill a bit.

And, I know the perfect remedy.

Soup!  Potato, specifically.

Triple Your Pleasure

I must admit. It’s my first try at making potato soup. I figured I’d adapt the broccoli soup recipe, I posted earlier, and add a few things. Like, bacon.
1. 3 bacon strips
2. 2 – 3 stalks celery, sliced lengthwise, then finely sliced
3. 3/4 to 1C flour
4. 1-3/4 sticks unsalted butter
5. 4 – 5 med. sized potatoes, cubed
6. 1 small onion, finely chopped or 1 lg. leek (Leeks tend to run expensive, and Kaukab might have a fit if she found out we spent so much on them, but you decide.)
7.  6oz. fontina cheese, or any other you like that melts well, like gruyere.
8. 1 qt. half-half
9. 1 qt. chicken broth
10. 3 – 4C. water
11. garlic salt
12. cracked black pepper
In the large soup pot, on med. high heat, fry bacon strips. Once browned, remove. Turn heat down to med. and add 3/4 stick butter along with onions and celery. Add a few pinches of salt, or garlic salt, and cracked pepper. Stir and cook until tender and translucent. Add rest of butter and begin adding the flour. (I place a large whisk in the pot, and as I’m stirring, I add a bit of flour at a time, so that it breaks over the whisk–a short-handed sifting.) Stir the roux until smooth and turning a nutty-brown. (The bacon will already have given it a headstart with the color.) Stir for a couple minutes. Turn up stove to med. high and add chicken broth.

Organic is Better

Whisk until incorporated. Add 2C. of water and whisk some more. Add the half-half, and continue whisking. Adjust for flavor with additional salt and pepper. Add in potatoes. Once begins to form tiny bubbles around the edges, whisk again to clear pot’s bottom and turn down stove to med. low and whisk in cubed cheese until melts.

The Big Cheese

Turn down to simmer and cover, slightly tilted. Simmer, occasionally whisking to make sure nothing sticks to pot’s bottom. Simmer, until potatoes are cooked, but not mushy. (About 30-40 min.)
You’re now ready to face any weather advisory those annoying weathermen (women) can throw at you.

Winter’s Callin’

1 Dec

The winds are howling, working hard to rip apart my fall-themed flag that waves proudly from the front porch column. Can’t say I blame them. It’s probably time to replace it with something more in the spirit of the impending Christmas holiday. What!? You say IT IS upon us? Are you sure? Because, according to this:

And this:

Not this:

No, Not Leftover Cranberries

It’s still fall. Isn’t it?
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