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Thursday, January 3, 2013

I'm thinking Navy Bean Soup is in order!

For some reason, I couldn't stop thinking about Navy Beans yesterday.  I finally heeded to my thoughts, and decided to do a little research on Navy Bean Soup, seeing as I had never made it before.  I must have read through about 20 different recipes until I got a handle on what it is all about.  Now it was time to start creating my own!

Unfortunately, I am starting out with a bag of dried beans.  Thank goodness for Google!  I found out how to  do a quick soak, which means bring them to a hard boil for 5 minutes, then cover, remove from the heat and let sit for one hour.  In the meantime, I could get everything else ready to go.

I put 8 cups of water in my soup pot, along with 2 ham hocks I had in the freezer.   

I roughly chop the Vidalia onion, along with about 5 carrots, 4 cloves of garlic, 4 ribs of celery, and add all of this and the beans into the pot with the ham hocks and 8 cups of water.  The recipe calls for fresh sprigs of thyme, rosemary, and  bay leaves. Now, since I don't have fresh herbs, I figure I could use dried herbs, but some how I need to keep them all together.  I grab a coffee filter and put the dried herbs in and tie it with string.   Instant spice bag!


I let this pot simmer, covered, for about an hour.  Because the ham hocks really didn't have much in the way of meat on them, and I didn't have any ham left over,  I decided that sweet Italian sausage would be the perfect addition to the soup.  I took the casings off of 6 sausages, broke them up and cooked them.  When done, into the pot it went.  I had a can of petite diced tomatoes that were just dying to take the plunge, so in they went as well.

At this point, it's time to start tasting.  I decided to add more thyme, some garlic powder, and nutmeg, along with salt and pepper.  One recipe I read said to put a few tablespoons of butter in, and I thought that would give it a little bit of richness, so I added that as well.....Once I got the flavors right, I was was one happy camper.

So, there you have it.  It's almost impossible for me to follow one particular recipe as you can tell.  I am constantly thinking of what else I could add to make it taste even better.  If I had more time last night, I probably would have added some fresh spinach..  Oh well, that will be the next time.  Hope you like this!

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