Sunday, November 2, 2008

Louisiana Swamp Scum Soup

I came up with this recipe this weekend, when I was in the mood for something hearty and warming. You can freeze the leftovers in small containers and have homemade soup with little effort (defrosting and heating in the microwave) for several more meals. The recipe involves very little work, but cooking takes some time: you'll need to soak the beans overnight, and plan on letting the soup cook around 3 hours, but it needs very little attention while it cooks. Trust me, the end result is well worth the time!

3 cups dried beans (I like to use several different types, or you can just use 1 kind)
2 Qts chicken broth (homemade or organic is best)
1 ham hock
1 cup chopped country ham
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 carrot, sliced
1 15oz or 16oz can of diced tomatoes (for an extra spicy soup, you can substitute up to half with Bubba's Special Sauce)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 Tbs dried parsley)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 to 2 tsp (or to taste) Louisiana Swamp Scum Hot Sauce
Juice of 1 lemon or lime

Pick over the beans, rinse, and soak overnight. Drain, rinse, place in a large soup pot and pour in the chicken broth. Add the ham hock and country ham, bring to a gentle boil and then lower to a simmer. Cook uncovered at a simmer for about 2 hours or until the beans just start to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients, bring back to a simmer or very gentle boil and cook until beans are tender, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Taste and add additional hot sauce if desired. I didn't add any salt, but you can add to taste if desired. You can make a meal with this soup by serving with a side of corn bread and a salad or some cooked greens (collards, sauteed spinach, steamed broccoli, etc.).

Zestfully yours,

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