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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

15-Bean Soup with Smoked Pork and Greens

15-Bean Soup with Smoked Pork and Greens
So.  Who's got two thumbs and loves eating hot soup in the middle of summer?

This girl!

I know, I know.  Stupidest, cheesiest, oldest "joke" in the book.  But it cracks me up.  At least when I say it in my head.  But really, I've never been one to shun soup in the summertime.  I eat other hot things, so why not a bowl filled to the brim with healthy goodness that wafts up and slaps you in the face as you lean over to get a whiff?  Make a big pot one day.  Enjoy.

Divide up the leftovers...maybe freeze a jar.  What you have left in the fridge, you can ladle into individual bowls to reheat for quick meals.  Heck, if you make it in the crockpot, you've almost eliminated any extra steam or heat in your kitchen at all.  If you use the microwave to heat it back up...well then.  See my point?  I'm starting a movement - Stop summer-soup-shunning!  Who's with me?  Anybody?  Anybody?  Bueller?

15-Bean Soup with Smoked Pork and Greens
This hearty soup featuring 15 beans, smoked pork, and greens is great enjoyed year-round.
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15-Bean Soup with Smoked Pork and Greens
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour or ove
Cook Time: 2 hours
Keywords: soup/stew beans greens pork

Ingredients (3 quarts)
  • 20 ounces mixed dried beans & lentils (such as Hurst's or just add odds and ends that you have)
  • 2-3 quarts water
  • 1 pound smoked pork necks (or hocks)
  • few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 heaping tablespoon smoked paprika
  • couple handfuls mixed greens (such as kale & swiss chard), chopped large
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ~2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Place bean mixture into a large bowl and cover with water by a couple of inches. Soak overnight. Alternately, put them in a pot and cover with water by a couple of inches. Bring to a rapid boil for ~3 minutes. Cover, turn off heat and let sit for one hour. Drain water and rinse.
15 bean mix
Place soaked bean mixture in a large pot or Dutch oven with 2 quarts of the water, the pork necks( or hocks), thyme sprigs, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, cover partially. Reduce to a simmer and let cook until beans are just tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If using lentils, they will mostly disintegrate and thicken into the liquid. If soup seems too thick, add some more of the water.
smoked pork
Add onion, celery, garlic, tomatoes with their juices, and paprika to the pot. Stir in, then continue to simmer very gently for another 15 minutes. Stir in greens and continue cooking another 5 to 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Fish out the hocks with a long pair of tongs or a skimmer. Go ahead and remove the thyme stalks and bay leaves while you're at it and discard them. Set aside the hocks for a few minutes, until cool enough to handle. Pick the meat from the bones and add the meat back to the pot.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the vinegar. Enjoy!
15-Bean Soup with Smoked Pork and Greens
Enjoy in the dog days of summer...or the teeth-chattering middle of winter.
15-Bean Soup with Smoked Pork and Greens