Homesteading In The Pacific Northwest

Saturday, January 12, 2013

White Bean Soup In A Jar(s)

It was cold and damp earlier in the week and some bean soup with cornbread sounded like a good plan for dinner.  As long as I had all the ingredients out I decided to make up some jars to have for the next time.

The Ingredients
For the jars:
3 cups white beans (I used Cannelini since that is what I grow; you could use Great Northerns or Navy beans as well)
Freeze dried onions (1 tbsp), celery (2 tbsp) and carrots (2 tbsp)
Thyme (1 tsp), sage (1/2 tsp), celery seed (1/2 tsp), granulated garlic (1 tsp), ground black pepper (1/2 tsp), and 2 bay leaves

At time of cooking:
1 quart chicken stock (I could add bouillon to the spice mix but but the ingredients in bouillon are nasty!)
1/2 pint canned ham

For the bean and veggie jars:
Place 3 cups of beans into a quart canning jar.  Place the freeze dried veggies and herbs into a small plastic sandwich bag and place the bag on top of the beans.

Put a lid on the jar, vacuum and seal with a Foodsaver (you could add an O2 absorber ... I don't if I'm pretty sure I will be using this within a year).

Now our ingredients look like this ... just 3 jars.

There are two ways of going about cooking the soup.  The traditional way ...
Place beans in a large stock pot with water to cover 2 inches above beans; cover and let soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain, discarding the water. Add 2 quarts of water and 1 quart chicken stock to the beans.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Use a potato masher to break up some of the beans to make a thick soup. Add the contents of the plastic bag and the jar of ham and cook for another 1/2 hour.  Serve with cornbread (recipe coming soon.)

And then there's the quick way ... just about an hour from start to finish.  Place the dry beans in a 6 quart pressure cooker ...

Follow the directions for cooking dry beans that come with your cooker.  I use the one above made by Presto.  I fill the post half full with water and add 1 tbsp olive oil (keeps the beans from frothing up and blocking the steam valve).  I put the cover on, bring up to pressure on high heat and cook the beans for 20 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and let the pressure drop and drain the beans.  The beans look like this ...

Add 1 quart of water, 1 quart of chicken stock and the use a potato masher to break up the beans.  Add the contents of the plastic bag and the jar of ham.  Cook on medium for another half hour to 45 minutes.  Serve with cornbread.


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