Sunday, November 2, 2014

Comfort Food

When summer winds down, there are leaves to rake, and there is a definite chill in the air, my thoughts turn to my favorite homemade soups and stews.  Today I made my bean and ham soup.  It is so good and very good for you.

Like a lot of things I make, I don't follow a "real" recipe.  But here is how I make it.

The night before or early on the day you want to make it, soak dried beans in water.  Choose a large variety of beans, the more the better!

I get wonderful soup bones from my farmer.  Unlike the ones you get in the grocery store, these have a lot of meat on them.  In a large pot, with about a gallon of water, bring a ham bone, large chunks of celery, carrots, and onion to a boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for several hours.  Toss in ground cloves, ground ginger, and salt.

Remove the soup bone and let sit until cool enough to handle.  Remove and discard the celery, onion, and carrots.  Place the soaked beans in the pot and turn up the heat on the burner.  Chop the meat off the bone and put that in the pot also.  Simmer another hour or two. . . this is NOT fast food!

Pour a large can of chopped tomatoes and a large can of tomato sauce into the pot.  Simmer another hour of so.  mm-mmmm good!

Optional ingredients include chopped celery and onions or pasta.

It freezes well.

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