Navy bean soup
The first time I heard about this soup was back in 1974 when I was watching the iconic Mel Brooks movie “Blazing Saddles”. In the end there is a massive fight in the commissary of the studio the movie was being filmed in (you have to see the movie to understand) and at some point someone gets pushed through the checkout line covered in Navy Bean soup. So when Mother Nature decided to throw us a curve ball the other day and go from spring like weather to freeze your butt off it became clear that soup was in order and that scene from the movie jumped into my head and a little voice said……….. “Navy Bean” (the voice sounded surprisingly like Cleavon Little lol).
One additional point—- I used a Smoked Ham/Pork Hock because I like the smokiness and flavour it adds. If you don’t want to use one then simply substitute some diced ham.
Here’s how we do this one.
- 1 pound Navy beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
- 1 large smoked Ham hock, about 1 1/2 pounds
- 1 medium Onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic, coarsely chopped
- 8 cups of Cold water
- 8-10 black Peppercorns
- Kosher salt to taste
- 2 – 3 sprigs Thyme
- 1 Bay leaf
- Cheesecloth and butchers string
Putting it all together:
- Put the beans in a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cover with water and soak for about 20 minutes
- Drain the beans and set aside
- Make a Bouquet Garni by putting the peppercorns, thyme and bay leaf in the cheesecloth and tying together with the butchers twine.
- Place all the other ingredients in the pot or dutch oven and cover with the water.
- Tie one end of the butchers twine to the handle of the pot and put the other into the pot
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer
- Cook until the hock and beans are completely tender, about 1 1/2 hours
- Turn off the heat and remove the hock.
- When cool enough to handle strip the meat off the hock discarding the fat, bone and skin
- Chop the meat into small pieces and add back to the pot
- Remove and discard the Bouquet Garni
- Blend about two cups of the beans with some liquid and add back to the pot
- Mix well and adjust seasoning
There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”
Until next time………..