First off I must apologize for missing a post yesterday. That old man Murphy with his law and Father Time were having a field day plotting and scheming and the result was "one of those days". Thank you all for your patience.
When your day is filled with impossibilities, one of the best things you can do other than make dinner reservations is to put a pot of soup on the stove and just forget about it. I don't know about you, but I don't necessarily need to follow a recipe when I'm making a pot of soup although in this case because it made use of a package of assorted dried beans along with some barley (Trader Joe's of course), the beans needed a little special treatment before they hit the pot. Since I forgot to soak them overnight, I did the quick soak treatment instead by boiling the lot in a big pot of water for a full 2 minutes, then allowing them to sit for a couple of hours before completing the soup.
After the beans were plumped up, I sauteed some onion and garlic in a big soup pot, then added a host of veggies like carrot, celery, green and red pepper as well as canned tomatoes and tomato paste along with veggie stock and the ham bone from Sunday's dinner. It all simmered, bubbled and gurgled on the stove for the balance of the afternoon until I hit the pot with a couple of handfuls of dried pasta to beef it up, so to speak.
Next time you're looking for a low maintenance kind of meal, think about putting a pot of soup on the stove ...or heaven forbid, in the slow cooker. Who just said that? Musta' been that darned old Murphy.
Ham and Bean Soup (from JBug’s Kitchen, inspired by Purity Cookbook)
1 package dried bean mix (I used Trader Joe’s 17 bean plus barley mix)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 -28 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 quart veggie or low sodium chicken stock
2 cups water or more as needed to fill pot
3 ounces tomato paste
1 large meaty ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
1 cup dried pasta (any large pasta will do)
Shredded cheese for garnish
Pre-soak beans according to package directions. Rinse and drain well. Set aside. Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot until shimmering. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions start to soften – about 4 or 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots, celery, red and green pepper and sauté for another 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in Italian seasoning, oregano, pepper, salt, red pepper flakes and bay leaf. Add canned tomatoes and ham bone, and then add stock and water as needed to fill pot within 2 inches of top. Stir in tomato paste, bring pot to a boil, then lower heat, cover pot and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, until beans are soft. Fifteen minutes before serving, add dried pasta to the pot. Simmer until pasta is cooked and soup has thickened to desired consistency. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as needed. Remove bay leaf. Ladle into bowls and garnish with shredded cheese. Makes 8 to 10 servings. (Freezes well)
A year ago - Dairy Free Rich Chocolate Mousse
Two year's ago - Potato Gratin