Tonight is the last night of our first month of the 512 Project. I say the first month, because we’ve decided to extend the project for at least another two months. We have made it! Our official total for this month is $484.05. Dave traveled to California for work for four days and I did not include the money he spent on food there. My mom was here visiting with us, so I figured we were still feeding two adults and two kids.
Tonight’s dinner is Ham and Bean Soup, made from Bob’s Red Mill 13 Bean Soup Mix. If you aren’t familiar with Bob’s Red Mill products, you should be. We love the Vegi Soup Mix, too. I mix it with water and add whatever produce I need to use up. Couldn’t be any easier. And so cheap, when you consider how much it makes. For the bean soup, I double the recipe so that we’ve got leftovers AND enough to freeze for another night. I use one ham hock and one ham chunk. It is so interesting to me how many ham choices you can make in Virginia. I also add a couple of bay leaves, if I’ve got them, because, why not, really?
Here is the basic recipe to modify as you see fit. Note that you need to rinse and soak the beans overnight, so plan ahead with this one. You won’t be able to throw it together last minute. One benefit of soaking beans, though, is that it reduces some of the complex sugars, making them more digestible (ahem…less gas.) You can also do a “quick soak,” where you boil the beans for 5 minutes, remove from heat, cover and allow to soak for only 2 to 4 hours.
This soup can easily be made vegetarian and you can achieve the same smokiness you’d get from the ham by adding Sweet Kombu, a sea vegetable. Just use veggie broth for cooking, instead of water, and throw in whatever veggies you want!
13 BEAN SOUP MIX
These instructions are printed on the bag of 13 Bean Soup. Gluten Free, High Fiber, Lactose Free, Low Sugar, Soy Free.
- 2 cups 13 Bean Soup Mix
- 1 Ham Hock
- 1 cup chopped Onion
- 1 15 oz can Tomato Sauce or 1 quart Tomatoes
- 1-1/2 tsp to 1 Tbsp Chili Powder*
- 2 cloves Garlic or 2 tsp Garlic Powder
Wash and soak 13 Bean Soup Mix overnight.
Drain and rinse beans. In a large pot, bring 2-1/2 quarts water to boil with beans and ham hock. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 to 3-1/2 hours.
Add chopped onion, tomato sauce or tomatoes, chili powder and garlic. Simmer 30 minutes.
Makes about 8 servings.