I love soup, I can't help it. Given a choice of soup or sandwich, it's soup every time. When I was pregnant with my eldest daughter I had wonton soup and an eggroll for lunch just about every day (with lots of that wonderful hot mustard). That's one of the reasons I found myself making a pot of Navy Bean Soup the other day even though it is in the 90's here. There is something special about this particular soup, I think it is the creaminess after you have simmered it for many hours. Or perhaps its the little pieces of ham floating around in it. I know its one of my husbands favorites (he says its slammin) and it makes a filling lunch. If you have never made a bean soup from scratch before don't worry, it is far easier than it sounds. I never plan far enough ahead to do the overnight bean soak so instead I opt to do the quick soak. All that entails is rinsing the beans, checking to make sure there is nothing that doesn't belong (like pebbles) placing in a large pot with 6 - 8 cups of water, place on high heat until it comes to a wild boil, shutting off the stove, cover and then let it sit for about 1 and a half hours. Viola! Beans are soaked! Pour off this liquid before starting the recipe.
Navy Bean Soup
1lb Navy Beans (or any other white bean)
6 cups water
1/ 2 large onion roughly chopped
1 large carrot roughly chopped
2 stalks celery roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1 ham bone or numerous smaller ham bone pieces (I find mine at the IGA grocery store)
1 cup chicken stock
Put it all in a large pot, bring to a boil (I like to start with a high heat) reduce to medium and let simmer uncovered for about half an hour then to medium low for a couple of hours. Stir occasionally and continue to cook until liguid appears creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Don't forget to remove the bay leaf, it does not taste good.
I bet you are wondering what I did with all that soup. Well, the choices are eat it until it comes out our ears or freeze it. You never know what will show up in the freezer here and right now along with our food staples there are small bags of soup ready to be picked up and put in the lunch bag when the feeling moves us.