And Again with the 15 Bean Soup

About 30 years ago, I was standing at the spices at my local supermarket.  I picked up this bottle of Smoked Hickory.  Well, I used the last of it in the soup and when I went to the supermarket today, there wasn’t anything like it.  I did pick up something called Smokey Mesquite, but it will probably not be right.  I am very sad.  I’ll have to see what I can find on line.  I don’t think I forgot anything else, except water, of course.

Get out your big Dutch Oven.  Do they still call them that?  It has to be big enough to throw all this crap into and about three quarts of water.  Open the bag of beans and dump it in the pot.  Cover the beans with water plus an inch extra.  Put it on the burner and turn it on high.  When it starts to boil, turn it off after a minute or two.  Go away for one hour.  This is known as cheating.  You are supposed to soak them overnight in cold water.  But, what if you got up the next morning feeling like hammered out snake sh*t and you’ve got all these soggy beans?  What are you going to do then?  Huh?  Mainly, I have to be in the right mood to do this.

Dump the beans in a colinder and rinse them off and rinse the pot, too.  Put the beans and the hambone into the pot with two quarts of water.  Bring to a boil and let it simmer for at least 2 hours, probably 3 hours.  You may have to add more water.  The meat should come easily off the bone. 

About half an hour before, start chopping the onion and garlic. Sometimes I cheat with the garlic and use those little jars of chopped garlic.  It depends on the time of year and how much cooking I am doing.  Get out the rest of the ingredients and open the cans.

When all 15 varieties of beans are done, it is time to take out the ham bone and all the meat and fat.  You can let it cool for a bit.  Who wants to handle hot meat just out of a boiling pot?  Throw out the fat or give it to the dog.  I used to have a German Shepard/Husky that could eat anything, but Gus is only 50 lbs so I have to be careful.  Chop up the meat into bite size pieces and put it back in the pot.  Throw in all those other ingredients I mentioned yesterday.  Let it boil up for a few minutes, then turn it down and let it simmer for half an hour or so.

At this point, a normal person would put a little in a bowl and taste it.  That way you know if you should add anything.    Not me.  I put the cover on the pot and have something else for supper or even better.  Go out to eat. 

Before anyone asks.  Yes.  I have dumped out the beans and counted 15 varieties.

Tomorrow, it’s cornbread.

Doug and Gus on the track
Doug and Gus on the track

See.  Gus isn’t very big.  He’s looking at the geese.

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One Response to “And Again with the 15 Bean Soup”

  1. Christine Says:

    Ho…I have been away for awhile! I am trying to catch up. Everybody has been busy. Love your bean soup. I do mine almost exactly the same except I like to put peas in and basil. I bet the smoked hickory would be good. I think I saw some at our grocery store. I am going to look. Hopefully you can find some. I hate that when they quit making something that I really rely on.

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