Navy bean soup: a dinner that lasts through many meals
December 29, 2006
I hope everyone had a December filled with family, friends, delicious food and some fun in there, too. I’ve had my share of all of the above, but now I’m ready for a little R&R with a lot less cooking and eating and more moving.
With winter in full swing, this is a great time for soups. They go together relatively fast, and can cook in your slow cooker or on the stove during the day. If you work, you can start it in the evening and let it cook so the next day’s dinner will be ready with just a reheat. I always have a ham bone left over after Christmas, and one of my favorite soups to make is navy bean.
When I was growing up, we ate this meal a lot as the main course. I know this is going to sound strange, but my father, who was from South Dakota, always had my mom cook a soft-boiled egg to go on top of the beans and mash it all together. It’s one of those dishes that tastes a lot better than it looks.
One of the best things about soup is after you have it for dinner, you can take some for lunch the next day. Save some for later in the week, and freeze the rest for a meal on down the line – lots of payoff for little effort.
You can rinse then soak your beans overnight, or do a quick soak in which you put the beans in a pot with water, bring to a boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat, and let stand one hour. If you don’t soak your beans, it will just take longer for them to cook.
The following recipe is a guideline, and you can add or delete pretty much any of the ingredients, except the beans and onions.
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On a last note, I want to introduce you to my friend Brenda Smith, of Smith and Smith Farms. You’ve heard me talk a lot about the Smiths in my columns, and she is going to write a column to fill in on the months when there are five Wednesdays.
Note: I want to apologize to Pat Catrel and anyone else who tried to make the bear claws in last month’s column. The flour should read 31Ú2 cups of flour and roll the dough to 131Ú2 inches by 27 inches. With only 11Ú2 cups flour, Pat had a gooey mess. That rolled out OK, but when it was time to rise and bake, it became one big gigantic bear claw the size of her cookie sheet and ended up in the trash. For the complete bear claw recipe, see page C2.
So, in hindsight if you think something might not be right in a recipe please feel free to call me, which many of you have. I’m in the phone book.
• Linda Marrone has lived in Carson City since 1973, and with her husband, Ralph, formerly operated Marrone’s Restaurant in Carson City and Somethin’s Cookin’ Catering.