Winter time is homemade soup season. This soup can be cooked on the stovetop, or in a pressure cooker if you have one. The recipe is based on a pressure cooker’s decreased cook time. I find that the quick soak method of cooking the beans works best (and significantly reduces the unfortunate byproduct of eating all those beans: GAS!).
- 15 bean soup mix (1 16-20 oz. bag)
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 4 stalks diced celery
- 2 tsp diced or pressed garlic
- ~5-8 cups broth (chicken, turkey, and/or vegetable)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 T thyme and rosemary
- 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp ham base or a ham hock, or a meaty ham bone (optional)
- 1.5 T parsely (or x3 of fresh flat-leaf parsley)
- Black pepper (before cooking) and salt (after cooked) to taste
1⁄2 – 1 lb of pork shoulder or smoked ham, diced into bite-sized pieces. Be careful of going over the maximum fill on your pressure cooker.
~3 cups of broth for each 1 cup of dried beans, or
~2 cups of broth for each 1 cup of soaked beans
(1 lb of dry bean mix yields about 2 1/2 cups)
Directions for electric pressure cooker:
Sauté the onion, garlic, and celery with oil first, or just put everything in.
If using dry beans, cook on high for 35 minutes and use natural release, i.e. do nothing until pressure drops.
If using soaked beans (cold water soaked for at least 4 hours) or pressure soaked beans*, cook on high for 9-12 minutes using quick release, i.e. turn pressure valve to drop pressure right away.
When you’re ready to serve, add the parsely, and remove the bay leaves and the ham hock. Accompany with some hearty bread – I like ciabatta rolls.
*To pressure soak the beans as an alternative to soaking, cook in the pressure cooker on high for 1 minute, and immediate release. Drain the water, rinse beans and soak in fresh water for one hour.