Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dutch Oven Ham and Bean Soup

Winter is here.

As I write this it is 12 degrees Fahrenheit and I've got 8 inches of snow. My garden hoses are coiled up under the snow and I'm feeling guilty about the stonewall I didn't build. More snow is due this weekend.

Time for soup!

A pound of Great Northern Beans were soaked overnight earlier this week. The next night they simmered in my Lodge 5 qt. Dutch Oven for a few hours in a mix of water and chicken stock with a bay leaf. I took them off the heat when they just had a little mealiness left to their texture. This sounds like more work than it really is but you can used canned beans if pressed for time. A quicker one night option is to use a crock pot to combine the soak and cooking. This works very well.
1 lb. beans in their simmering liquid from above
1 pound cubed ham, browned
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic sliced thin
1 celery stalk preferably with some leaves on it
1 big carrot
1 tsp. Herbs d'Provence
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
fresh parsley
water to cover + more for broth (I didn't measure but my 5 qt. DO was full)
salt and pepper to taste

  • Brown cubed ham in a well seasoned cast iron dutch oven, remove to a bowl
  • saute vegetables until softened
  • add soaked beans and ham to pot, add seasonings and water (or stock)
  • cook until beans are pillow soft but not turning to mush
  • Garnish and serve with cornbread and a salad.
A good variation would be to add collard greens, kale or any other dark green leafy vegetable towards the end of the cooking. You can also substitute sausage {like andouille, chorizo or linguica} instead of the ham or try another type of bean.

For those that followed my Wagner Ware Dutch Oven reconditioning back in August (see the archives) the lid is finished and I just acquired another #1268 Dutch Oven so hopefully you'll read about it soon.


Zank said...

Wow this looks great. I pretty good at soups and this looks like a winner. It's simmering as I speak, err... type.
I'm about an hour an a half into and was thinking I would add a beurre manie near the end but now it's starting to reduce and thicken a bit so I don't think I'll need to.
Looks like a winner!


Greg said...

I thought I might mash some of the beans to thicken it but like you said it thickens up well on its own.

Hope you liked it and got some ideas for the next time you make it.

Zank said...

Man I made this again today and it was better than the last time. Big hit!


Greg said...

Cool, I loves me some soup!