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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cajun White bean Soup

It was cold over the weekend. I mean like highs in the 50's here. So not cool (pardon the pun), but I wanted a little fall like weather. Somewhere in the upper 60's-70's... at least for a couple weeks. On the upside, I got to pull out this Soup recipe from the Cajun Encyclopedia. It made a HUGE potful, so we had my in-laws over to enjoy it with us.
It was a first for me, buying ham hocks... which for me I had always laughed at the odd pig parts that certain grocery stores carried, only this week to find myself looking for the "best" ham hock of the bunch... YEP, never thought I would have done that one. But it was so worth it.

The one thing about this recipe, is that you have to soak the beans overnight prior to cooking them. So it's not one of those throw together at the last minute recipe. But it's so good and worth the time spent on it.

Cajun White Bean Soup (makes 12 servings)
WW pts: 6 pts a serving

1- 1 lb package of dried great northern beans
2 ham hocks
1 link of smoked sausage, diced
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced celery
1 cup diced bell pepper (I used green)
1/4 cup minced garlic
2- 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes, no salt added
water as needed
1 bay leaf
salt and cracked pepper to taste

Presoak dried beans overnight. Drain and wash beans again before cooking. In a 2 gallon pot (or largest you've got), heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions , celery, peppers, garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, then add drained tomatoes. Add sausage and cook 3-5 minutes more. Then add ham hocks. Stir in beans and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for about an hour. Once beans begin to become tender, mash them against the side of pot to create creaminess. Season with bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer approximately 1 1/2-2 hours, continuing to stir and mash beans occasionally. Soup is ready when it has reached the creamy consistency of cream of mushroom soup. I think I let ours cook 5 hours, adding a little more water about 1/2 way through.

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