Saturday, November 14, 2009

Beans, Bones, and Greens.

As I have a few times previously, I found myself confronted with a backlog of greens. There was also the residual humerus from the stuffed pork shoulder to be addressed. Touring the pantry, however, I found few options for dried beans...until I stumbled upon a bag of lima beans. But, these were purchased from Winn Dixie perhaps 5-6 years ago.
Would they still be good?
They smelled fine and were uniformly firm. I decided to quick soak them and see. Finding no issues, I proceeded with the soup.
The Method
  1. Place the dried beans (any type) in several cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cook for two minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to sit for 1 hour. Drain.
  2. Soak a handful of dried forest mushrooms in very hot water for 20-30 minutes.
  3. While the beans and mushrooms soak, brown pork bones in a deep pot. (You could have done this in the oven for an even deeper roasted flavor.)bone
  4. Scrounge three leftover Italian sausages from the freezer. (Why did I have three, single sausages in ziplocs? Why not just cook the extra link each time?)
  5. Brown the sausages along with the bones.
  6. Add six cloves of whole garlic, the mushrooms, 1 tsp dried thyme, a bay leaf, and enough water to cover the bones.
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. Add the soaked beans.
  9. Add 6-8 cups of roughly chopped greens (bok choy and mabuna).
  10. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Simmer for at least 1/2 hour. (I cooked this for 2+ hours.)
  12. Remove the bones - picking and adding any meat to the soup.
The Result
limasoup Mellow. The sharpness of the greens and roasted pork bones were discernible and the beans created a thick, creamy base. It was the perfect dish, served with a salad and slices of Anadama bread (freshly thawed and heated in the oven), for a cool fall evening. The Junior Chefs added hot sauce to their bowls partway through and reported it was delicious (my bowl was already empty).
limasoupfinalOther things to try. I would certainly make this with other types of stock bones. It would also be worth adding tomatoes or tomato paste midway through cooking. Different varieties of beans would work well, too.

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Kudya Bwino Bwino (Eating Well) © 2009