15 Bean Soup South Caroline Style

1 (1 lb) bagregular 15 bean soup mix or 1 (1 lb) bagcajun 15 bean soup mix
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15 -30 ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed
3 stalks celery leaves, included chopped
2 -3 ham hocks or 1 ham bone, with meat still on it
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (crush with fingertips before adding this releases the flavor)
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 chicken bouillon cubes

Wash the beans; put in large pot and cover with water. Bring to boil; stir and remove from heat.
Cover and let sit 1 hour. After that hour, drain beans and set aside.
Add oil to pot. Sauté your ham hocks, onion, and celery until tender.
Next add garlic and sauté 2 minutes more.
Add the beans and cover with water (about 2 inches over top of beans).
Add tomatoes with the juice, parsley, rosemary, black pepper, bouillon cubes, and about 1 teaspoon of salt to start with.
Mix well. Bring to boil; stir, reduce heat cover and simmer for 2 to 21/2 hours or until all the sizes of the beans are tender.
Keep watching it and stirring it every once in a while. You may need to add more water; you want it to keep a consistency a little thicker than a soup.
Taste it after it cooks–you may need more salt or pepper.
During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the flavor package that comes with the beans.
Serve by itself or over rice. Good with fried chicken and cornbread.

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