Saturday, April 16, 2011

Grandma's Depression Plain Bean Soup


Yes there is a diffinite story here. Grandma back in the 1940's apparently made this soup (my mom told me) using some of the leftovers from the weekly meals. They grew their own garden so almost everything that went into the soup would be fresh. Left really chunky with using a knife instead of a food processor. Her meats would consist of either bacon, ham bone, or even chicken, whatever meat there was she would use it up because nothing went to waste. I happened to have a few chicken legs left from last nights dinner and bacon leftover from breakfast. Before going to bed last night I prepared  pinto beans ( that's what I had in the pantry) in the crockpot overnight.
Grandma always soaked her beans overnight and either used navy beans or northern white beans.

Oh yes and she also had Escarole in there if we had it! Look famililar?
 So here is how we make plain bean soup a little modernized, or as the family called it depression so
up. Mine is made with her flavorings but no chopping everything veggie wise goes into a food processor, still has that great flavor ... so here's my lazy version.

Beans:  3 cups of beans of your choice canned or  soaked dried freshly cooked suggestions :(  navy, white, pinto, red, black beans)

All going into the food processor:
1 whole carrots peeled and cut up
2 stalks of celery cut up
1/2 of a white onion (optional )
1 whole cleaned clove of garlic
1 whole beefsteak tomato
1 head of escarole chopped  (optional)
grating cheese
Pulse all together till pureed, add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, parsley and basil stir and set aside.

In a 5 quart saucepot, add water half full, add meat of choice below. Boil around half hour.
2 chicken legs, ham bone or other kind of meat like sausage or powerful flavoring
2 to 3 tablespoons of crumbled bacon
Remove meat add all pureed vegetables from the food processor, add beans.

In this pot add 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until beans thicken the broth slightly.
Serve hot with crusty Italian bread to soak up the juice or saltine crackers and of course some grating cheese.  A very tasty soup sure to satisfy a hungry bunch in your family!
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