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Bean Soup

1 cup navy beans
1 ham bone or 2 ham hocks
1 teaspoon of salt
4 Peppercorn
1 small onion, peeled
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 cup diced carrots

Put the beans in the saucepan with 2 quarts of cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add ham bone or hocks, salt, peppercorns, onion, and bay leaf. Simmer slowly until the beans are tender, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Add the carrots during the last 1/2 hour of cooking. To serve, cut the hocks into bite-sized pieces, and remove bay leaf and onion. Add more salt and pepper if needed; serves 6.

Black Bean Soup

2 cups of black beans
1 onion, sliced
3 tablespoons of butter
2 sprigs of parsley
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
dash of cayenne
juice and rind of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons flour
1 hard boiled egg

Soak the beans and cover for 12 hours. Drain. Sauté the onion in melted butter about 5 min. Add the beans, 2 quarts of water, parsley, celery, carrot, salt, pepper, cayenne, and lemon juice and rind. Cover and simmer 3 1/2 to 4 hours, adding more water if necessary. Press mixture through a sieve. Reheat over boiling water. Make the flour into paste by mixing with 3 tablespoons of cold water. Add to soup. Cook and stir until thick and smooth. Add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Chop the egg and add to soup. Serves 6-8.

Cold Buttermilk Soup

1 quart buttermilk
1/2 pound boiled shrimp: peeled, de-veined, and chopped
1/2 cucumber: peeled, seeded, and diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dill: pickled, chopped
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Chill. Serves 6.
Note: This soup can be made very successfully in a blender. Put all ingredients in a container, and blend for 40 seconds on high speed. Chill and serve.