This is a wonderful fall or winter meal, served with thick slices of warm homemade bread. The recipe evolved over the years as I added to it. I often double it and freeze what we don't eat. That way, I can throw some in a pot for a quick meal or if unexpected guests drop by. —Emily Chaney, Penobscot, Maine
- 1/2 cup each dried great northern beans, kidney beans, navy beans, lima beans, butter beans, split green or yellow peas, pinto beans and lentils
- 1 meaty ham bone
- 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
- 1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes with liquid, quartered
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- 4 medium carrots, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup minced chives
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Wash all beans thoroughly; drain and place in a large saucepan. Add 5 cups of water. Bring to a rapid boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, place ham bone and 3 qts. of water in a stockpot. Simmer until beans have stood for 1 hour.
- Drain beans and add to the ham stock; add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 2-3 hours or until beans are tender. Cut meat from ham bone; discard bone. Add additional water to soup if desired. Yield: about 5-1/2 quarts.
Originally published as Emily's Bean Soup in Country Extra September 1992, p47
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