Dec 28, 2011, 10:21 AM
Post #4 of 6
Re: [robt65] A Good Ham Soup Bean in Mexico?
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Do those beans come dried? . . . . . and do I soak them overnight or just dump them in the pot? They look and sound real good for the soup.
Robert, the beans are dried: first you pick them over, looking for any seriously damage beans and especially for rocks and twigs. I have to say that the alubias we've bought at Wal-Mart or Bodega Aurrerá have been pretty clean.
Next, you rinse them in several changes of water.
Third, cover with 3 times the amount of water as beans and let soak overnight.
Next day, drain and rinse the beans and put into a large pot with plenty of water to cover them. (at this point, consult a reliable cookbook such as The Joy of Cooking. I'm less reliable. )
Add an onion (James Beard like to stick a couple of whole cloves into the onion. It's optional.) and a couple of bay leaves ("laurel") and maybe a smashed clove of garlic.
Bring the water and beans to a boil and turn the heat down to a simmer. At this point you could put in the ham bones. The thing is to cook them slowly so that they don't disintegrate.
If you need to add water, be sure the water is boiling before adding to the big pot. (I got this tip from Esperanza.)
When the beans become tender, add a little salt. Cook them a bit and taste. Go easy on the salt as the ham has salt. Pepper, either white or black is a good addition.
Are you going to have cornbread with this meal?