Anyone else out there questioning the validity of that statement? If you live in an area where Mother Nature has decided to spit in the face of warmer temps, flowers blooming and birds singing, then you're in the same boat as us.
Last week was Spring Break for us, but it looked and felt more like Christmas Vacation. I'm not exaggerating. The first week of April and we saw 50 mph winds, freezing temps, and yes, even the dreaded "s" word. Ugh! All of those who ventured south for the week definitely got a shock up on their return!
Usually by this time my cooking focus is on grilling out, salads, fresh veggies...but not this year, for I found myself looking for a new soup recipe to warm us up after being out in the darn cold all day.
I found myself so hungry for a great bean soup, the craving needed to be satisfied. Now, at this point we have to get something straight. There is what I call "Ham & Beans" and it's a thicker, heartier dish. I have a terrific recipe, in the slow cooker, you can find here. This time what I wanted was a more traditional soup consistency, that I could throw together stove top; and the first thing I thought of was the Festival Bean Soup they serve at Bob Evans. I've had it a hundred times, both when I worked there, and after. It's got simple ingredients, but intense flavor. That's what I wanted.
So, here is what I came with. It might not be spot on, but it's pretty close and oh, it's so good! Perfect on a chilly, rainy spring day, with some cornbread on the side!
Oh I hope the warmer, sunnier days on the way. I don't know how much more of this extended winter I can take. But at least in the meantime, we have something tasty to satisfy us!
Copy Cat Bob Evans Bean Soup
1 lb. dried navy beans
1 lb. diced ham
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
4 medium carrots, finely chopped
8 c. water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
4 TBS butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large stock pot over medium heat, melt butter. Saute onions and carrot in butter until soft. Add ham and saute for a minute more. Add water, beans, bouillon, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1-2 hours until beans are tender. Adjust salt and pepper. *NOTE* If you have a ham bone, by all means, add it while the soup simmers. I just don't keep them on hand.