From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Today was the day of the coffee I spoke to you about last week. I've added the menu for the get-together to the tail end of this post for anyone who is interested to see what went down. The good news is, that despite a crowd, it went well, the bad news is, I'm exhausted tonight. I thought that might be the case, so, yesterday, I made a huge pot of bean soup to serve for dinner tonight, and was able to freeze another two meals worth for other nights when my energy levels sag and nothing looks more inviting then a hot bath and a "so to bed" evening. This is a simple dish, and save for some chopping, it is nearly effortless to prepare. Served with a salad and Yankee cornbread, it will make for a fine and filling everyday meal. Here is how the soup is made.
White Bean Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 pound dried Navy or Great Northern beans
1 large ham hock (the meatier, the better)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
3 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
1 large Russet potato, grated
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Kosher salt and ground white pepper, to taste
1) Soak beans in water overnight. Make sure beans are covered with a couple of inches of water as they can expand somewhat.
2) Next day, drain beans. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, Place stock, drained beans and a ham hock in a 5-quart soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and simmer, covered, for 2 hours, occasionally skimming off any scum that forms on the surface.
3) In a separate saucepan, heat butter over a low-to-medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic to butter and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is slightly translucent, stirring more or less continuously.
4) Add wine and cook for another minute or two or until wine seems to have reduced by about half.
5) Add onion mixture, parsley and grated potato to soup and simmer for another hour, or until the beans are tender.
6) Remove ham hock. Pull meat off bone, chop it up and return it to soup pot. If necessary to adjust thickness of soup, add more stock or water.
7) Season to taste with Kosher salt and white pepper and serve right away. Serves 8.
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French Breakfast Puffs
Lemon Tea Cakes
Winter Fruit Salad
Mulled Cranberry and Cider Punch
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