A few days ago, I posted a freeze-ahead soup packets version of Market Day Soup. If you are planning ahead and looking to stock your freezer with some set-and-forget meal options, I've had great luck with the recipe I posted.
But that isn't the only way to do this. I'm making Market Day Soup for dinner tonight, and the steps to make it in one day are a little different.
I started with all the same ingredients and my trusty Crock Pot. This morning, before I left for work, I threw about 2 cups of picked-over dried bean soup mix into a Crock Pot I had sprayed with pan spray. I added 2 small ham hocks (from a 4-H pig we bought at auction last September, so they are really quite small but meaty), 2 bay leaves and then I added cold water until there was about twice as much water in volume as there are beans. Turn the cooker on low and off to work, for now.
When I got home, I added:
The beans were already tender and good, so now I'm just going cook the vegetables. Increase the cooking temperature to high and then go watch a few episodes of The Ranch. People tell me that Sweet Hubs bears a resemblance to Sam Elliot's character in that show.
When the veggies are tender, too, I'll add
When the soup is heated completely through with that final addition, it's time to eat!
I'll be serving this one with some sourdough bread, plus a few fennel capsules to prevent us from fouling our air later on.
A few notes:
Yes, the plan-ahead version used chicken or veggie stock, but that was kind of assuming you would not be including a couple of ham hocks. This soup is easily made vegetarian, but I don't happen to be one. You do whatever makes you happy.
Yes, I threw in some marjoram, which I did not mention in the other recipe. Basically, lots of herbs taste good with beans. Rosemary is good. So is oregano.
You could also make this recipe using all white beans, and throw in some pasta to make a quickie version of Pasta Fagioli. Or make it with all black beans and enjoy it with Southwestern cornbread. Cooking is a creative endeavor, remember. Under no circumstances should you make it with black-eyed peas and Indonesian spices. See previous recipe, if you need to be convinced.
But I'll give you a hint. Use black-eyed peas and Indonesian spices like my mother's recipe and you get something that smells like this.....
This is my original artwork, so please respect the artist's copyright: