It was time to test the flambo dry beans that I grew this year. I decided to cook them into soup with a pumpkin base. It turned into a sort of what-have-we-saved-from-the-garden-celebration soup. We struggled trying to come up with a satisfactory name for it. Of course, “flambo” had to be part of it, and it needed to mention the meat and the base. If it wasn’t impractical, almost every ingredient should have been part of the name because each one made it so good. The flavors blended together, yet were still distinctly fun and colorful. So, here’s what I did, in case Rich wants to know…
In large pot, about 6 hours before you want to eat, put:
2 cups of triple rinsed flambo dry beans (This can be done putting the beans in a bowl, filling it with water, moving the beans around in the water with your hand, then letting the water slowly pour off the top after the beans with debris and odd beans. The last time, you might want to drain them through a wire mesh strainer so none are lost down the sink.)
3 or so tablespoons of home dried (dehydrated) onion (You can read about dehydrating onions here)
1 ham bone with attached meat (you want to end up with about 4 cups of chopped up meat when you are done), and
about 8 cups of water (enough to cover the beans and most of the ham)
Bring the water to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer and cook until the beans are tender.
Take out the ham bone and any large pieces of ham that need to be cut up. Try to find someone to take care of the meat while you continue working on the rest of the soup. 🙂
4 cups pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons chicken base
2 cups frozen grated zucchini
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1-2 teaspoons of salt (taste to see, it may depend some on your ham)
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 quart home canned pureed tomatoes
Stir until all is heated and mixed in. Eat.
The flambo beans stood out to me as having a nice texture and flavor. I don’t normally notice the beans in things. Beans usually just seem like filler and sometimes color. Maybe I noticed the flambo beans more because they are larger than the average bean I use. They were still a mild flavor, but they added something of their own to the soup.
Although this soup took a while to cook, it was not labor intensive in and of itself. Much of the labor had been done when I was preserving things from the garden. With the exception of the pumpkin –
The pumpkin was also from the garden, freshly roasted and peeled. Yep, I peeled hot pumpkins. More about that on a later date; but I had enough pumpkin left over to make some chocolate chip pumpkin spice cookies based on my mom’s variation of the 1963 Betty Crocker Cooky Book recipe. The nice thing about both of these recipes is that pumpkin is not overpowering. I’m not thinking the whole time, oh, this is pumpkin soup or pumpkin cookies. I’m just thinking that eating them is satisfying in multiple ways. Healthy, filling, leaves me feeling good. I have had some trouble with my appetite lately. I’m thinking it is hormonal, so it is a relief to find some things that actually sound good and end up tasting good. And since I have a lot of pumpkins in the basement pantry, I can make more. I could even give a pumpkin to Rich!