My kids can't resist their grandmother's bean soup. A touch of nutmeg sets it apart from all other kinds.
- 1 pound dried navy beans
- 8 cups water
- 1-1/2 to 2 pounds smoked ham hocks
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 3/4 cup mashed potato flakes
- Rinse and sort beans. Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 to 4 hours or until beans are softened.
- Drain and rinse, discarding liquid. Return beans to Dutch oven; add the water, ham hocks, onion, parsley and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until beans are tender.
- Add the carrots, celery and potato flakes; mix well. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf. Set side ham hocks until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bones; discard bones. Cut into bite-size pieces. Return meat to Dutch oven; heat through. Yield: 12-14 servings (3-1/2 quarts).
Originally published as Navy Bean Soup in Country Pork 1996, p38
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