Thursday, September 13, 2012

Frost and Soup

Well, there is no denying it now, winter is on the way.  It frosted twice last week and my plants are worse for it.  Time to pull the zucchini, the last of the (now slimy) flowers and the tomatoes.  I'll put all the green ones in a box with a  banana so they will ripen.  I'll dig the potatoes, pull the carrots and leeks and clean up the last of the plant litter in the garden until next spring.  It is a very sad thing and sort of depresses me.
Oh, my poor zucchini plants, lost in the first frost.

Dave is in moose camp (no moose so far) and this is my chance to cook things I like and he won't eat.  One of those things is ham and bean soup.  I love the smell of the soup as it simmers away, the warm smell it fills the house with.  I love a warm bowl of soup for dinner after a long day.  Dave doesn't agree with the idea of "soup can be dinner" attitude, he wants something with it.  So while he is gone, I'll have soup a couple of times, then freeze the rest in serving size containers for my lunch.

I love it when Dave is in moose camp.

***Post Script
I put this soup together in the morning before work, turned on the crock pot and knew I was in for a treat, all my own, for tonight.  About  2:00 Dave called and said he was on his way to town with meat for the butcher (they got a moose, so disregard the "no moose so far" comment above).  I started to laugh and said, "Guess what's for dinner."  Dave answered, "I don't care as long as it isn't bean soup."
Can you believe it.  He can make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I'm having soup.
One pound of cranberry beans before soaking.

One pound of cranberry beans after soaking in water overnight.

Ham and Bean Soup
adapted from how my mom made it

1lb. dry beans, I used cranberry beans this time, use what you like
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion
2-4 ribs celery
2 carrots
1 clove garlic
8 cups chicken broth
2-4 cups of diced ham, use what you have left-over or in the freezer

Rinse and check beans for stones, place in large bowl and cover with water leaving about 2-3 inches of water over the top of the beans.  Soak overnight.
In the morning, rinse beans.  Bring 8 cups chicken stock and beans to boil, boil 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, chop onion, celery, and carrots.  Heat pan and add olive oil, saute onion, celery and carrots for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften, add garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Add vegetable mixture to crock pot.
After beans have boiled for 5 minutes, add to crock pot with vegetable mixture, add diced ham.  Cover and cook 6-8 hours on high until beans are tender.

Use what ever beans you like, navy kidney, cranberry, or a mixture.
Sometimes I buy the mixed bag of bean soup, but throw away the "flavor packet" that tastes gross
I had the butt of a small ham Dave used for sandwiches that I chopped and added, and I had about 1.5 cups of shredded pork in the freezer I also used.

September 13, 2012     Daylight 13 hours, 13 minutes, 17 seconds     Temp. 49ºF

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