|The perfect hot bean and vegetable soup|
on a snowy Alaska winter night...
Servings: (8 to 10)
Prep: 10 mins. |
Cook: Appx. 2 hrs.
-1 (16 oz. pkg.) dried pinto beans
-6 cups water
-6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
-1 tablespoon cider vinegar
-2 heaping teaspoons brown sugar
-2 cups cooked ham, cubed
--(or 2 *smoked ham hocks, or *ham bone with meat on it, or a ring of smoked sausage)
-1 lg. carrot, scrubbed, and chopped
-2 ribs celery, chopped
-½ onion, diced
-1 russet potato (or sweet potato), peeled and chopped
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1 bay leaf
-1/8 teaspoon each: dried oregano, basil, and thyme
-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
--(I do not add any salt due to the saltiness of the ham)
-Dash of hot sauce
Spread the dried pinto beans out on a baking sheet and pick through them; toss any unwanted matter, then rinse beans in a colander. In a large dutch oven (or heavy-bottom soup pot), bring pinto beans and water to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to simmer and par cook for 1 hour.
Drain beans in colander, and return to dutch oven. Add broth, cider vinegar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes; stirring occasionally.
Add remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer for 30 additional minutes, until vegetables and beans are tender.
Remove bay leaf, and toss. Taste for seasoning, and add more broth or water if a thinner consistency is desired.
Serve with hot wheat rolls or crusty slices of French bread. ~ Enjoy!
*Tip: If using smoked ham hocks or ham bone with meat on it, add at the beginning of the bean cooking process, and remove after 1 hour to pull meat from hocks or bone, cube (when draining beans), and return to pot when adding vegetables.