A flavorful way to feed a hungry family on a budget…
Southern Bean Soup
1 Pound Dry Pinto Beans
8 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
8 Cups Water for Soaking Process
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Vinegar (Helps Removes Gasses )
1 Ham Hock
1 Cup Diced Onion
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
2 Cups Chopped Ham
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Rinse the beans, sorting out any broken or discolored ones. In a large soup pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt, vinegar and the beans and remove from heat. Let beans sit in the hot water for at least 60 minutes.
After the 60 minutes of soaking, drain beans in colander. Place beans in broth and return the pot to high heat and place the ham bone, onion, garlic, in the pot. Stir well, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours; add more water if needed (by the cup).
Remove ham bone and discard. Stir in the chopped ham and simmer for 30 more minutes. Season with ground pepper to taste. Serve with cornbread and beverage
You may add 3 Cups of your favorite chopped greens (Spinach, mustard, collard etc.)during the last simmer. Serve with hot sauce, vinegar, for the table.
Grandma’s Buttermilk Cornbread
1 Cup Butter Melted (1/2 Cup Reserved)
2 Cups Buttermilk
1 Cup Sour Cream
3 Teaspoons Baking Soda
3 Cups White Cornmeal
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or large 10 Inch Cast Iron Skillet (My Preference)
Melt 1/2 of the butter in large skillet. Remove from heat. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain fold in remaining butter. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Variation: Jalapeno Cornbread…Add 1 small jar of diced pickled jalapenos including juice (more to taste), and 3 cups of sharp cheddar to batter and fold in. Bake as directed above.