The Moveable Feast Food Blog

The Moveable Feast is a Personal Chef Service that serves the Hampton Roads area of Southern Virginia. This blog is an extension of my web site and will go into more details about food and any food service industries. Any pictures and or recipes that are published here are all the property of The Moveable Feast unless otherwise noted.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

It's Soup!
The weather has slowly been changing, getting colder and colder everyday. Since the time change I have lost all sense of when I am suposed to sleep. I get sleepy at 8 and get up at 5:30. My internal clock has really gotten way off. It gets darker out and my body says it's time for two of comfort foods. So I heeded the call of comfort foods and brought out a yearly fall favorite. When I went to culinary school, we were required to take a stocks and sauces class. This class had two purposes. The first was to teach you how to make basic stocks. The second purpose was knife cutting skills. Everything has a name and everything has a measurement. All this was lost on me after I became a personal chef. None of my clients care about some fancy French name for something that is 1/4"X1/4"X1/4". This recipe came from my Stocks and Sauces class in a printed handout of misc. recipes. I would give credit to the author but I have no idea who it is.

This is called Michigan Bean Soup. Here is the recipe and some pictures that I took along the way. It's a great recipe but I do have some comments about what to change up a bit. First I always double the recipe. In order for me to follow the directions I use my food scale. The measurements are in ounces so the scales comes in handy. In the picture above there is the doubled weight of onions, celery and green bell peppers. I did weight the Navy Beans and then soaked them in cold water all day on the kitchen counter. The recipe calls for Ham Hocks and luckily my local grocery store had them. If you can't find them then use a smoked turkey wing, maybe two. There is less fat on the turkey wing and the meat is easier to pick off the bones than all the fat from the ham hocks. We have even used a pork bone from a pork roast that I had frozen. There wasn't a lot of meat but the flavor was good anyway. This is a very hearty and filling soup. We had it with some Sun Dried Tomato bread from the grocery store. It doesn't take much to fill you up. Good hearty food on a cold winter day.

Michigan Bean Soup
Yield: 8 servings (very small about a scant one cup per)
4 oz. dry beans (Navy)
1 each ham hock
2 quarts water or stock (I have used both and really can't tell much difference in the taste because there are so many flavors)
2 oz. onion, finely chopped
2 oz. celery, finely chopped
2 oz. green peppers, finely chopped
2 oz. tomatoes, canned, chopped (buy the pre chopped canned tomatoes-saves time)
1 oz. parsley, chopped
salt and white pepper to taste
2 oz. butter
2 oz. flour

1. Clean and wash beans. Boil in 2 quarts of water or stock. Add ham hock.
2. Cook until beans are tender. Saute all vegetables in butter, dust with flour and cook few minutes. Add to soup and simmer for additional 10 minutes.
3. Before serving, remove ham hocks, dice meat, and return to soup.

Note: Taste soup before seasonings because ham hocks are salty
If ham hocks are too salty for you or you don't need the extra fat use smoked turkey wings.
I soaked the beans for about 6 hours in a bowl on the kitchen counter in cold water before cooking them; overnight is better for less cooking time.


At 3:32 PM, Blogger michelle said...

Hi Vickie!
I was worried that since I haven't been able to post (or really even read) the last several days I'd be way behind, so I'm glad to see you've been as busy as I have (and I've been sick this weekend - bummer)! That soup looks really hearty and yummy. I had no idea there were french names for all the little sizes of cut ingredients... I still have no idea how to cut something 1/4"x1/4"x1/4" - I guess that's why you're the chef! I'm super impressed. I love the dog and the donkey pictures - looks like you were all having fun! Hope things are going well for you in Virginia!

At 3:46 PM, Blogger vlb5757 said...

Michelle, glad to see that you posted again. I checked today and saw the chocolate posting still. I had a feeling that meant that you were pretty busy with school. I am sorry to hear that you were sick.

Please do not be impressed by such small cuts of food. I rarely use the French terms and am not sure about the measurements anymore either. Like I said, most folks aren't that fussy and I am so glad about that!

Isn't that Donkey cute? It cracked me up that I actually had a picture to submit.

I hope you feel better soon and don't work too hard. I hope that you take time for youself while you have Thanksgiving break. Enjoy the time off!!

At 9:54 AM, Blogger ilva said...

Vicky-this soup sounds delicious! Just the type that I like! But what are ham hocks exactly? The last bits of cured ham?

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Melissa CookingDiva said...

Vickie: this is one good looking soup---hmmm!!! I just finished lunch, but after seeing your photos, suddenly became hungry again :)What brand is your scale? it looks familiar---I have one 2.2 Kg "Edlund" and I love it. I am thinking about getting a digital one for christmas :)

At 12:24 PM, Blogger vlb5757 said...

Ilva-a ham hock is from the lower portion of the back leg of the pig. You can use a smoked turkey wing or drumstick, or you could just use a cheap piece of pork with a bone. The bone helps to flavor the soup and then while it's boiling it helps to tenderize the meat on the bone. Pork does taste the best in this dish though.

Melissa-I picked up the scale for $25.00 at Walmart. I have had it for about three or four years and I love it. I don't carry it with me anywhere but I guess I could if I was really careful and left it in the box. If you use the keywords "food scales" on the USPCA Member Message Board, there was a discussion about different kinds of scales that you could get from Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table and a few other gourmet catalog places. I think there was one that was about $65 they talked highly about from WS. I really didn't want to pay that much for a food scale. It works well and cleans up nicely too.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger s'kat said...

Vicky, this soup sounds like it would be perfect for, say- tomorrow evening when the chill really settles in! I've been feeling quite souply myself these days, unfortunately, DucCat doesn't really care to have such things for dinner.

At 4:30 PM, Blogger vlb5757 said...

I am a soup girl from the time that I developed a love for Campbell's Bean and Bacon Soup. I still love that silly soup, but seldom buy it anymore. I am thinkinig about making a potato and leek soup this week and eating in front of the fire place. I love eating soup in a coffee mug. That is from childhood when I was home sick, my mom used to put my soup in a mug and I could lay on the couch watching cartoons and eating from the mug. Have the soup for lunch on a Sunday afternoon while watching football. Works well then too!

At 2:31 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

That soup sounds delicious. Also, I like that the recipe is very straightforward, no unusual steps or ingredients. Have a great (2nd) Thanksgiving!

At 3:10 PM, Blogger vlb5757 said...

Dawn, it's one of the easiest soups other than a potato leek soup. I do love split pea soup too. Actually, I don't think there are too many soups that I don't like. If it's complicated, I'm not doing it. I stand on my feet all day and cook for a living so I am all over quick and easy!! You won't see too many fussy recipes here!

I have been dragging out some forgotten cookie books getting ready for the Cookie Exchange. I have one picked out already but need to come up with two more. I am so excited about this. It will make me bake whether I want to or not!!


Post a Comment

<< Home