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Granny’s Great Bean Soup

1207162929My Grandmother (on my Dad’s side) was a self-proclaimed West Virginia “Hillbilly” and she spent hours and hours in the kitchen everyday. Her house always smelled of fresh-baked bread and whatever else she happened to cook that day. It was a privilege to be allowed to cook with her. She was very picky and would much rather have the kitchen to herself, but I was always at her heels wanting to help.

I never much appreciated her bean soup until I was an adult. As a kid “soup” meant Chicken and Noodles or my Mom’s Chicken and Dumplings. I thought beans belonged in burritos!

I make this fairly often in the winter months. It is really hearty, healthy, and tastes better than anything you can pour out of a Campbell’s can. I usually serve it with fresh bread and real butter.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Granny’s Great Bean Soup

  1. Soak beans in clean water with a pinch of salt overnight or at least 6-8 hours
  2. Drain soaked beans and remove any “bad” beans, stones/rocks, etc.  rinse
  3. Put beans back into large stock pot
  4. Add ham hock
  5. Add baby carrots uncut
  6. Add chopped celery including the leafy parts at the end
  7. Add onion cut in quarters
  8. Add one full can of whole peeled tomatoes (you can squish them up like I do or leave whole)
  9. Add your choice of seasonings
  10. Fill stock pot with cold water
  11. Cook on high heat until it comes to a boil
  12. Reduce heat to medium and cook for a min. of 4 hours adding water as needed (the longer you cook it the better it tastes, but don’t forget to keep adding water and stirring occassionally)

I like to serve this with fresh French bread and real butter.

Leftovers freeze well, however if you refrigerate instead know anything cooked with tomatoes does not keep long (3 days is my cut-off).

The images below walk you through the process step-by-step. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and feel free to let it become one of YOUR family recipes for the ages.


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