Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Soup beans (recipe in the comments)
Southern-style greens

Hot tea
Soup beans is a southern recipe that mostly graced the tables of poor folks trying to stretch their food dollars. It's mostly beans with a bit of meat for flavor, but is not really "soup". A long cooking time imparts the flavor of the meat and the other flavorings into the beans. The original recipe was from Eating Well and our changes didn't increase the fat content or calories, so it's even pretty good for you! We think it's an excellent weekend meal because the prep is virtually instantaneous, though the cooking is long. After you're done your whole house smells glorious! We typically boil greens until they're tender and them saute them in flavoring - a bit of bacon grease, salt, and pepper tonight (see a future post on the value of bacon grease and other meat as condiment). Cornbread seems appropriate, don't you think? Jiffy comes to the rescue for a weeknight.

Prep Notes
Difficulty: Super easy
Chopping: Ham
Time: 10 minutes to prep, 2 hours to cook
Make ahead: Obviously.

J: "I like it southern-style."
M: "Soul food."


J said...

Soup Beans – M and J (adapted from Eating Well)
Serves 4

1 lb dried pinto beans (2.5 cups)
12 cups water
8 oz. ham, finely diced
1 medium onion, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
½ t salt + more to taste
1 t pepper
¼ t crushed red pepper flakes
3 T red wine vinegar
Brown sugar (optional)

Place beans, water, ham, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer (mostly covered), stirring occasionally, until the beans are very tender and beginning to burst (1 ½ - 2 hours). If necessary, add ½ - 1 additional cup water to keep the beans just submerged in cooking liquid.

Remove from heat and discard the onion. Immersion blend a bit to get a good thick consistency. Add red wine vinegar and salt to taste (we add about another ½ t). Some people like to add a bit of brown sugar. You can add to the whole pot or sprinkle individual servings at the table.

michelle said...

Yay - you did post the recipe. My family has Texas roots, so these seems like it would fit right in. And I can't wait for the bacon grease post...that reminds me of family recipes too :)

J said...

Hi Michelle!

Yes, the recipes are always in the comments section so as not to clutter up the main page. Bacon grease is a sadly side-lined ingredient in cooking today, and M and I certainly hope to bring it back into favor!

J said...

FYI: In the recipe I use Turkey Ham, available at my Whole Foods in 7 oz. slices. I don't worry about the missing 1 oz :)