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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hearty Bean Soup

Quite often an idea for a soup comes to me just out of the blue or it is triggered by opportunity. Out comes my kitchen journal so I can write down what I did as I develop the recipe. It's critical to taste along the way to get just the right flavour. Some of my best soup recipes have been created in this manner. We knew our recent beef purchase would put a huge strain on our freezers so before we picked up the meat, I pulled a few things out of the freezer to use up. One of the packages was two large pork hocks so I put them into the refrigerator to thaw with making soup in mind. The immediate problem with my plan was there were events scheduled for almost every day of the up coming week meaning a large pot of soup likely wouldn't get used up. I decided to work around our commitments so the soup was started on Monday and canned late last night (Tuesday).

Hearty Bean Soup

This hearty bean soup is packed full of flavour. No salt is added as it would prevent the beans from softening during the canning process. It is also low fat because the stock is defatted before making the soup. The soup was made in three stages before canning. The yield was 12 - 500 ml (pint) jars of soup and enough left over for a small bowl of soup for the cook.

Hearty Bean Soup

900 g (2 lb) navy beans
2 pork hocks, defatted with stock
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion, chopped
4 lg carrots, peeled and cubed
2 stalks celery, diced
1½ c niblet corn
¼ tsp liquid smoke

Step 1: Place pork hocks in large pot and pour enough water over to cover. Bring to a boil. Add one unpeeled onion quartered, 2 unpeeled carrots cut into large chunks, celery heart with leaves. Reduce to simmer and continue cooking until the pork is tender. Remove the pork hocks. Trim skin from meat. Remove meat from bone and pull into smaller pieces. Strain the stock. Cool completely and skim off any fat. Return meat to stock.

Step 2: Rinse the beans. Place in large stock pot. Cover with water to about 3 inches over beans. Bring the beans to a boil. Boil 15 minutes. Remove from heat and place lid on the pot. Let sit 4 to 5 hours. [This is called a quick soak and can be used to cook any beans. After the quick soak, cook the beans as normal.] Do not drain the remaining liquid.

Step 3: Prepare the vegetables. Bring the beans to a boil. Pour in the pork and stock. Add the vegetables. Boil about 10 minutes. Stir in the liquid smoke. Remove from heat. The soup is now ready for canning. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil and reserve. Extra liquid may be needed for canning. [If you do not intend on canning the soup reduce to a simmer and continue cooking until beans are soft and soup is slightly thickened.]

Canning: Ladle hot bean mixture into hot, sterilized jars until they are about half full*. Ladle the soup liquid over the bean mixture leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims. Adjust two piece lids. Pressure can at 10 lb pressure 90 minutes for quarts or 75 minutes for pints at altitudes to 1,000 feet above sea level. For higher altitudes follow the altitude adjust chart here.

*Note: It is important to only fill the jars half full with the bean mixture as the beans are not fully cooked. They will absorb liquid during the canning process and will expand so the jars will be full when finished. Filling the jars more than half full of the bean mixture may result in seal failure.

To Serve: Pour the soup into a sauce pan. The soup will be thick but still have some liquid. Add enough water to get desired consistency (optional). Heat and enjoy :)

5 food lovers commented:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe! I'm going to try it!

Farm Girl Wannabe said...

Looks yummy! I think I will try it this weekend. I just made a ham and have a big ham bone.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Farm Girl Wannabe, thanks for visiting! This will be a perfect soup to use that ham bone in :) I hope you enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Can I can the bean soup after it is fully cooked? If so, how long would I have to pressure can the jars?


Garden Gnome said...

Hi Anonymous and thanks for visiting. Canning instructions are given included in the post for this soup.