Saturday, 5 January 2008

Baked-Bean Style Bean Soup

Once you have cooked and eaten a ham, you are left with a ham-bone. The next step is to save whatever scraps of ham that are big enough to be used, and to make stock with the bone. Just stick it in a large pot with cold, filtered water to cover, and simmer gently for several hours. I highly recommend making sure that none of the cloves get in there; they've done their time and more will just make them bitter. Put it in the fridge overnight, and the next day skim off the fat (which I consider well worth keeping for cooking with.) Heat the stock enough to be liquid, and strain it from the bones and any bits of fat and skin that didn't render. You now have a culinary treasure. Don't cook your scrap ham bits with the stock though, or they will be sad and flavourless.

If you don't eat pork, you can also make excellent stock with smoked turkey parts (drumsticks seem to be the most commonly found.) The resemblance is impressive, and the flavour is just as good. I'll post a recipe with it soon.

6 to 8 servings
2 days - 20 to 30 minutes of actual work

Baked Bean Style Bean Soup8 cups ham stock
4 cups dried white pea beans (navy beans)
1 cup yellow split peas
3 -4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, crushed
4 tablespoons molasses
5 tablespoons tomato paste
2 large carrots
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 cup diced ham

Wash and pick over the beans, and put them in a pot with enough water to come up above them by 3 or 4 inches. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and soak overnight.

In the morning, drain the beans and add the ham stock and the split peas, bay leaves and pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer gently until the beans are tender.

Use a little stock to thin the molasses and tomato paste, and stir it into the soup.

Peel and dice the carrots. Add the carrots and ginger, and continue to simmer the soup until the carrots are tender. Add the ham, and add salt to taste (which will likely only be needed if your ham is unsalted.) Add water if the soup gets too thick; stir frequently to prevent scorching.

Bean soup is best made a day ahead and reheated. The flavours will have had time to blend and mellow.


Peter M said...

Ferdzy, may I have both bowls?

Ferdzy said...

Why sure, Peter. Dig in!

Kevin said...

Ham stock sounds good! I will have to try making some the next time I have a ham bone. The baked bean soup sounds really tasty!

Sandy said...

Wow, that soup looks delicious.