The first time I make something traditional I have this expectation that the dish just has to be great tasting. I have proved myself wrong from time to time, such as the first time making chicken cacciatore, but when I am right -- wow, I am right!
Sunday we had the traditional ham for dinner and I decided that I was going to use the ham bone for bean soup. My mother made bean soup several times growing up and I figured she would be the best resource for what to throw into the pot -- besides the beans and ham, of course. Mom has many recipes in her head, so when I called her at work on Monday she quickly recited what she uses in her bean soup, sans the amounts. Call me crazy, but I decide I am going to be adventurous and figure out my own measurements. Whatever I did worked -- this was the best darn bean soup I've ever had.
I also wanted to make a bread product to go with the soup and found an easy recipe for Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls on the Whole Foods website. Two reasons I am elated to have found this recipe:
1. Whole Foods has a recipe site - why am I just now discovering this?
2. The rolls were a hit out of the ballpark!
I opted for the egg wash on the rolls which I highly recommend for a shiny, golden brown look. I also did something slightly unconventional for the rising processes. The directions called for a "warm spot" to let the dough rise. The sun was out that day, but it was slightly cool out so I did not have an ideal place for the dough in the kitchen. I thought about turning on the dryer or maybe the oven for a bit for a warm place, but then my boyfriend gave me an excellent suggestion: my car! The sun had been shining in my car all morning, so along with the cool air -- the temperature was perfect!
Bean Soup - A mother and daughter combo recipe
1 pkg Trader Joe's 15 bean mix, soaked overnight in water
1 medium onion, chopped
5 celery stalks with tips, chopped
1/2 tsp peppercorns
1/4 tsp Kosher salt (yes, I realize this is an oxymoron)
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Place ham bone in 6 quart pot along with presoaked beans, onions, celery, peppercorns, bayleaves. Fill pot with water to about 1 inch from lip of pot. Heat burner on high until mixture starts to bubble. Turn down to medium low and cook for at least 2 hours. Remove ham bone from soup and cut up any remaining ham that is left on the bone. Return ham to pot and season with salt and garlic salt if necessary. Enjoy!
PS. I can't wait to get my new camera so I can share pictures again! Coming soon!