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Bean Soup Recipe

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This recipe for Bean Soup, by , is from Brues, Let's Eat, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Contributor:  
Contributor:  
Nord Brue
Added: Saturday, January 31, 2009

Category:
Category:

Ingredients:  
Ingredients:  
1 lbs white beans*
2 T Peppercorns
1 Scant T of whole cloves
1 Bay leaf
31/2 qts water
3 medium onions
3 medium carrots
4 celery stalks (or heart of celery) chopped
3 cloves of garlic, whole
Hambone with plentiful meat
Stock reserved from baked ham

* If this is for Bean Soup only I use Navy Beans or Small Pea Beans; if it is to be a base for Pasta Fagiole, use Cannellini (Alubias), a larger white bean, and do not add the fresh onions and potatoes. After the soup boils again, cool it and store for up to a week in the refrigerator. When you are ready to make the Pasta Fagiole, remove the hardened fat, gently reheat the soup and add the rest of the ingredients in the following recipe.

Directions:
Directions:
1 lbs white beans*
2 T Peppercorns
1 Scant T of whole cloves
1 Bay leaf
31/2 qts water
3 medium onions
3 medium carrots
4 celery stalks (or heart of celery) chopped
3 cloves of garlic, whole
Hambone with plentiful meat
Stock reserved from baked ham

Put ingredients in a large soup pot.
Bring to boil and then simmer for two hours.
Remove ham and fat.
Remove and discard the onions carrots and garlic
Chop ham and return to soup.
Take the congealed stock, remove layer of fat and add to soup
Add fresh onions and potatoes.
Bring back to boil and simmer twenty to thirty minutes until vegetables are done

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
6-8
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
3 Hours
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
The recipe for Bean Soup which follows was inspired by my Grandmother Caroline Hanson Brue even though she probably would not even recognize it as a proper Bean Soup. There was often a pot of ham and beans bubbling on her stove and it didn’t take much begging to have her serve you a bowl. When you tucked in, Grandmother Caroline always asked, “How is it” and even the grandchildren quickly learned that “O.K.” was not an acceptable answer. Recognition, indeed high praise was expected, even required.

Grandma Caroline was something of a purist when it came to Bean Soup. She believed in salt and with the generous amount she added and what cooked out of the very salty ham no one needed salt pills to survive a sweaty day in the hayfields. One the other hand, she did not adulterate hers with vegetables or other green stuff although a bit carrots and celery might have sneaked in. It’s possible that these vegetable innovations were added by my Mom but in any event the addition of celery, carrots and onions started the slippery slope that transformed pure Iowa Bean Soup into Italo-Norwegian Pasta Fagiole.

We live in a Darwinian world. Literally as I was writing this material I got a call from Son Erik who asked for a Bean Soup Recipe. Of course I sent him my own adulterated version, not my Grandmother’s. A day later he called to say, “It was great.” He went on to say he had used navy pea beans (a regression to his Grandfather Les’ preference) and had added star anise, the five fragrances flavoring of the orient (a nod to his wife Hanna and China, the land of her birth.) He loved the star anise addition and I didn’t mention that I’ve previously added a hot dried pepper or two which I expect he’ll figure out for himself next time around. I’d love to return in a generation or two and see what they do with ham and beans.

Thanks to Grandmother Caroline Brue for the inspiration. I have fond memories of this intelligent and imposing woman. I remember the visits we had (just the two of us) when I was about 13 years old and attending Confirmation classes at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. We had a car pool of sorts and often I walked down to their house in tiny Irwin, Iowa to sit with her on the front porch of their house while waiting for the drive back to Fiscus and the farm. Her aspiration for me was to become a Preacher. I suspect she would have nominated herself for the clergy if she had lived today. Caroline’s language skills were formidable, her diction correct and precise, and she shared her knowledge and language skills freely with others. Much later in life -- after Caroline’s death, my Uncle Leo, the family philosopher, told me, “I expect the reason your Dad and I murder the English language is because our Mother cared so much to get it right.” Even visitors from Norway marveled at her command of Norwegian, a language she learned in the U.S. If one believes that these traits are passed down through the generations then I submit that daughter Alexia may have inherited her love of language and talent for it from her Great Grandmother Caroline.

 

 

 

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