Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dinner Tonight: Ham & bean soup

My mom and grandma love bean soup, and my mom taught me to make it. Or so I thought. After being at my mom's house late last night, they offered to give me some of their leftovers since they had made the same soup a few days ago. I agreed until I saw them - they looked nothing like my beans! I know that my mom uses pintos instead of navy, but I had no idea the difference would be so drastic. Her soup was basically water and beans. Mine looks more like thick chili. Very strange.
Last time I made this Crockpot staple, hubby complained there was not enough ham in it. So this time I added quite a lot of ham, and he still hardly ate any of it! He wasn't feeling well but it was a little upsetting because this recipe always makes way too much no matter what, but even more so if he doesn't eat.
I forgot to soak the beans until late last night, so I followed the quick-soak method on the back of the package. Except, where it says to boil for 2 minutes, I accidentally forgot they were on the stove and actually boiled them for about 30. Oh well, they didn't seem to be any worse for the wear. We like our beans pretty mushy so it didn't matter that they were cooked a little longer.

Slow-Cooker Ham & Bean Soup

1/2 cup finely chopped onion, or 1-2 Tbsp dried onion
2 garlic cloves or 1-2 tsp garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 lb dried navy beans, soaked at least 24 hours or prepared using quick-soak method
1 ham hock
1-2 cups chopped ham

Combine all ingredients in crock-pot, using just enough water to cover, cook on low about 8 hours. Remove ham hock, reserve usable meaty portions and chop, return them to the pan. Discard bone and fat. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Serve with cornbread.


Estimated cost of meal

Beans: $1.25
Ham hock: $1
Ham: $2
Onion/garlic/spices: $.25
Cornbread mix: $.45
Egg: $.12
Milk: $.08

Total: $5.15

Former life total: Dinner @ Panera: $17

Leaner Life Savings: $11.85 or 70%!!!

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