Even though I'm single, I make multiple servings of everything. Actually, this tendency has helped me to get to know my neighbors. A few of them always volunteer to be my guinea pigs whenever I try out a new recipe or two. —Cheryl Trowbridge, Windsor, Ontario
- 2 cups dried great northern beans
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups water
- 1 meaty ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1/4 teaspoon dried savory
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Sort beans and rinse with cold water. Place beans in a Dutch oven; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let soak for 1-4 hours or until beans are softened.
- Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid. Return beans to pan; add broth, 3 cups water, ham bone, bouillon and seasonings; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the onions, carrots and celery in oil until tender; add to soup. Cover and simmer 45-60 minutes longer or until beans are tender.
- Remove ham bone; cool slightly. Remove meat from bone and cut into chunks; return to soup. Discard bone. Skim fat from soup. Yield: 10 servings (2-3/4 quarts).
Originally published as Neighborhood Bean Soup in Country Woman January/February 1998, p29
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