Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dim Sum Sunday - Snowdays

This weeks Dim Sum Sunday challenge (and the first one of the new year) is snowdays. Big Shamu over at The Karmic Kitchen begged the questions - Do you have a special, warm the kids up after an afternoon of sledding hot chocolate? (I personally wouldn't care if they never came home) Do you heed the call of a huge bubbling soup pot? (when the soup pot is bubbling, it's usually bubbling over causing a flash fire) Have you ever made snow cream? (WTF?) What is your favorite thing to make and/or eat in the dead of winter?

Well, I pondered this for about 10 seconds. The kids want Swiss Miss or Campbell's soup and grilled cheese when they come in from playing in the snow. Not much of a challenge there. I thought about Chili because I like chili and we have the Karl's Korner inspired Beef and Beans Trowdown coming up in a couple of weeks. Two birds with one stone (again), but that would be just what they would be expecting me to do. Everyone made a big deal during the "Leek Throwdown" that no one went with the obvious potato and leek soup and I almost did that. So I guess I have to go with one of my childhood favorites.

My mother use to make us Navy Bean Soup starting in October. It was sort of a traditional Trick-or-Treat halftime meal. Thinking about it now, my mom was pretty sadistic in that she would load us up with beans and send us out into the neighborhood. I don't remember having any accidents but I sure could have. Anyway, I don't have my mom's recipe. I'll have to check with my siblings in the future to see if anyone has it. In the mean time, I gleaned this from It's called My Navy Bean Soup

Here are the Navy beans soaking after I first rinsed them. I actually soaked them for 2 days. I was going to make the soup on Saturday but the schedule went to hell, so I made it on Sunday. The beans seamed nice and firm.

The only deviation I made from the recipe was substituting diced ham for the bacon and adding some ground pepper. Yeah Shamu, I know but my mom always used ham.

Here's the finished soup. It's thinner than my mom's and not as hearty tasting, but not bad. The carrots were a little on the mushy side and for the life of me I can't remember if my mom's recipe had carrots. On Saturday (when the schedule got away from me), I was visiting one of my sisters and she said the recipe is around somewhere and would get back to me. If she ever comes up with it, I Will make that soup and let you all know how I fair.


Big Shamu said...

I love bean soups. My mom always uses a big ole ham hock and would cook it on the wood stove. I think she used carrots and a healthy dose of pepper. As with most soups, it tasted better the day after it was made. Yours looks very good. How does Emeril's stock taste? With all this cooking we got you doing, you should experiment making your own stock.

Happy Dim Sum Sunday 2010!!!!!

moi said...

I did a soup, too! It's that time of year. Navy bean is S.B.'s favorite, although I have yet to make one that equals his mom's. I'll have to try this one, as the last one I made came out a little funky. Literally. I have no idea what I did wrong. Maybe it was pureeing the beans?

Making Space said...

That looks great and I totally spat out what I was drinking ALL OVAH my 'puter at the image of your mama loading you up with beans and sending you out into the wilds of the neighborhood on Halloween night.

Big Shamu said...

I have to agree with MS, Buzz's parents sound like a kick. Bean soup on Halloween, icing down the patio, they sound very kid friendly.

Buzz Kill said...

Although I never liked his shoe, Emeril makes some good stuff. I like his stock and he makes really good marinades (a roasted vegetable comes to mind). I've made my own stock and chicken broth before, but I just don't have time. If you want me doing the cooking challenges - I need to use short cuts or it's not happening.

There were 5 kids and my parents didn't have much money, so we did whatever free entertainment we could. A few gallons of water and some hand-me-down skates and you have ice skating. A big pot of bean soup is meals for a couple of days. Anything to get us out of the house.

Oooooh, pureeing the beans. That would explain the funkiness - like baby food. This recipe is simple enough and I'll recommend it, but just wasn't thick and hearty as I remember my mother's was. I'm really hoping one of my sisters comes up with her recipe.

I don't think my mom did it delibertly and no one ever complained about having an accident. It was just something that popped into my twisted mind.

LaDivaCucina said...

Buzz, sounds like without a lot of money but a lot of siblings you had the kind of childhood I had: inventive and fun and much time left to our own devices!

When we were toddlers, my sadistic father would make us quiver and stammer demanding if "we had broken the sidewalk" when we fell? Naturally, it took the attention off the minor scrape we were wailing about and put the focus on us defending ourselves! Pretty funny to think about now.

I know the soup you are talking about and my mom made it the same way, nice and thick. Here are some suggestions: Cook the beans all the way through first. Add carrots when the beans are very well cooked. If you had let the soup cook more, the beans would have broken up more making a more thick soup but your carrots would have been mush. Another idea is to take some of the soup, puree it and add it back to the pot. Then you'll have that instant thick texture without turning the entire soup into a bowl of mush and still enjoy the texture of whole beans. Either way would work well.

I just made a navy bean soup with kale and roasted radishes. Turned out nice and hearty and I used a smoked ham hock for the flavor. Cooked the beans first with the ham hock. Once the beans were cooked, I added some chicken stock and sauteed the greens and roasted the radishes separately and then added them. Turned out great!