Saturday, January 4, 2014

12 Bean Crockpot Soup

Happy New Year!!!  What's that you say?  It's January 4th?  Yeah, well about that.  You see, I had things planned and then poof!  This glorious email appeared from Netflix saying seasons 5-8 of Dexter was now showing.  Any and all plans I had went out the window and I have planted myself on my couch immediately after walking in the door to watch hours and hours of this show.  I know.  It's bad.  I'm lazy.  In my defense he's the most adorable serial killer ever.   He's only after the bad guys so that makes it ok, right?

Now that I've gotten my lame excuse out of the way, let's get on with 2014.  I'm pretty sure it's going to be a good year.  Of course we all say that don't we?  There's something so liberating about the fresh start that a new year brings.  Personally, I don't set resolutions.  Honestly they would have all been broken the second that email showed up.  I do like to set some goals of small things I would like to accomplish.  I always seem to have excuses for those too.  For example, I would love to start taking Dolce on long, daily walks.  Well, it's snowy and about 5 degrees outside.  Seriously.  Perhaps I'll do that when it starts to get warmer.  See?  Excuses.  I'm full of them!

Rest easy though, guys.  It's barely 8am here and I've already cleaned my kitchen and started some laundry.  Now I'm sitting here talking to you with a cup of coffee.  It's possible that I'm doing this under a few layers of blankets with my dog keeping my feet warm.  I do have big plans for today.  I started a master bedroom closet project and I'm hoping to finish a good portion of it today.  What I left out of that sentence is that I started it in August.  Since then, all of my clothes have been spread throughout three different closets in my house.  It was a rash decision to tear out the horrible wire shelving unit that was housing my clothes but it was one of those with the separators in it and I couldn't slide my clothes around on the rack like I wanted to.  Tomorrow it's very likely that I will tell you I'm nowhere closer to having a functioning closet.  Anyway, food.

Last year I made this 12 Bean Crockpot Soup on New Years Day and it brought me some luck in 2013 so I figured, what the heck, let's try it again.  It can't hurt!  

I love beans.  I haven't always been able to say that but something about my not very exquisite palette has changed.  They are such a rustic, soul warming food when served with crusty bread or my favorite, cornbread.  Not to mention the fiber and protein they contain. 

I think the secret to delicious bean soup is the ham hock that it's slow cooked with.  I'm fortunate enough to live in a state where country ham is readily available.  It's salt cured in delicious spices.  Consider it the prosciutto of the south.  If you can't find a country ham hock, any smoked or salt cured hock will work.  Just make sure to taste the soup before serving to adjust the salt.  You'll notice there is no salt in this recipe because the country ham adds just the right amount!   So, without further adieu, I give you my favorite bean soup recipe!

12 Bean Crockpot Soup                                                         Printer Friendly


1 (16 ounce bag) mixed beans
1 country ham hock
1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Black pepper
Water to cover

Place beans in a large bowl with water covering about 2 inches above the beans.  Soak overnight

Drain the beans.  Add to the crockpot.  Add the diced red onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano and black pepper to taste.  Stir.  Place the ham hock in the beans.   Pour in water to just cover the beans.

Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8.  30 minutes before serving, stir in the canned tomatoes.  

Serve with corn bread or a loaf of crusty bead.

Serves 6

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