Friday, May 15, 2015

Recipe: Navy Bean Soup

When I was a kid, my mom used to make the most delicious navy bean soup. Thanks to some clever changes, my recipe tastes just like hers–but it’s much lower in fat. To lower the fat, I replaced ham hocks with lean ham steak, and use just enough crushed red pepper and four-peppercorn mix to add a bit of heat. I’ve increased the amount of carrots, too–their sweetness provides a wonderful counterbalance to the red pepper and peppercorn mix. The end result is flavorful but mild. You can make this recipe in the slow cooker, or if you're in a hurry, in the pressure cooker.

Navy Bean Soup




6 cups water                                   

1 (16-ounce) package white beans

1 boneless, fully cooked lean ham steak (about 2 cups)

3 carrots (or 10 baby carrots), finely chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

½ teaspoon celery seed

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground four-peppercorn seasoning


Slow Cooker Directions:


Rinse and sort beans. Soak for 12 hours.


Place all ingredients in slow cooker on HIGH for 8 - 10 hours, or until beans are tender. If desired, puree a portion of the soup.


Pressure Cooker Directions:


Increase water to 8 cups. Combine water, beans, and ham steak in pressure cooker, and cook on HIGH pressure for 40 minutes.


Meanwhile, microwave carrots, onions, celery, red pepper, and pepper for about 6 minutes, stirring once, or until onions and carrots are tender. Add onion mixture to pressure cooker after releasing pressure.

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