It’s a race against time in my pantry – me vs. Mr. Mousey to see who can get to my legumes and grains first. I found out the hard way that big blue plastic containers are no match for a clever little rodent (who knew that they could get under closed lids? we didn’t, which explains why Paul screamed like a girl when he was looking for something in there and a mouse jumped out at him). So needless to say, I have a ton of stuff to work through – all kind of obscure grains and heirloom beans that I’m having hard time to find recipes for, and then nice simple predictable ingredients like the bag of 15 Beans from Ham-Bone brand. I dug around until I found a basic soup recipe, and it turned out VERY well. It tasted as good on Day 4 as it did on the day I made it, and got raves from my entire family. Especially delicious served with crusty bread.
15 Bean Soup
recipe slightly modified from recipezaar
1 (1 lb.) bag of regular 15 bean soup mix
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, crushed
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2-3 ham hocks
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed with fingers
1 tsp. black pepper
Salt, to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 chicken bouillon cubes (or equivalent in powder)
Wash the beans; put in large pot and cover with water. Let soak overnight. Drain beans and set aside.
Add oil to pot. Saute the ham hocks, onion and celery until tender. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes more. Add the beans, and cover with water (about 2 inches over top of beans). Add tomatoes with the juice, parsley, rosemary, black pepper, bouillon cubes, and about 1 tsp. of salt to start with. Mix well. Bring to a boil; stir, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours (ours was more like 3) or until all beans are tender.
Keep watching it and stirring it every once in a while. You may need to add more water; you want it to keep a consistency a little thicker than a soup. Taste it after it cooks. You may need to add more salt or pepper. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the flavor package that comes with the beans. Serve with crusty bread.