Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ham & Bean Soup with Cornbread

I'm sorry its been a few days since I've posted.  It has been a wild week and I ended up getting sick-so as I sit here and sniffle-I'll tell you about the amazing ham and bean soup I made for Levi and I this week!

Last weekend, I was looking forward to the sudden drop in temperature we were to experience yesterday-from 97 to 75 within a 24 hour period.  I geek-out during fall for comfort food, pumpkin, jeans and boots.  So when the opportunity came to cook off some ham and bean soup-I went for it!

As a child, this was something I loved!  I didn't particularly care how bland it tasted (my mom was not much for seasoning foods), but I loved the way it made the whole house smell.  There is something about comfort food on the stove that makes a home smell homier than a scented candle.  Plus, ham and bean soup is so cheap to make!  I can make a whole pot for about $5.  A little tip: buy the dried beans as they are half the price of the canned-and not much more work!

Ham & Bean Soup with Cornbread (recipe takes about 4 hours to cook)
Serves 5-8

1 lb. Dried Northern Beans (or Navy Beans)
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 lb. ham cubed
1/2 lb. uncooked bacon, chopped
salt & pepper

Cook beans according to package.  That means you will have to get a large pot, fill it 3/4 full of water, rinse and add the beans.  Bring water to boil for around 2 minutes (more wont hurt anything) and them remove the pot from heat and keep covered for 1 hour.

Next add onion, bacon and ham to pot and put over medium heat, uncovered.  Bring pot to boil and adjust burner to allow the pot to simmer-stirring occasionally.  Do not salt or pepper yet.  The bacon and ham can already add a lot of salt to your dish-you want to wait until the end before salting.

Let the soup simmer for around 2 hours or until the water no longer looks like a broth and has developed a stew-like consistency (think white gravy).  At that point, you will want to taste the soup and salt or pepper to taste.  Tasting the soup will also tell you if it need to be cooked longer or if its done.  This step is entirely your preference.

Serve with fresh cornbread.  I use the cornbread mix recipe from Hearts, Hands, Home, but I grew up with some Southern flair to our cornbread (ie. add 1/2 cup sugar to the dry mix).  That part is up to you!  


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