Farewell Meal: the Last of 20 Servings of Classic Ham & Bean Soup

Farewell Meal: the Last of 20 Servings of Classic Ham & Bean Soup


1 3-or-4-lb smoked pork shoulder (often on special in the grocery store)
1 cup dried white beans
1 egg in shell
6 cooking onions about 2 1/2 in. in diam.
1 potato and 1 carrot (or more, as desired) per person
No flavoring is necessary. Start early the day before you want to serve this dinner.
A big draining spoon and a carving knife and fork are needed.

  1. Soak the Beans Fill a large bowl with water and soak the beans in it for about eight hours. Change the water at about half time and rinse them well before draining the beans when done.
  2. Cook the Soup Put the unwrapped ham, washed but mostly unpeeled onions, unshelled egg and beans in a big pot, cover them well with cold water and cook on high until the soup boils.Lower the heat and simmer for at least two hours, until beans are soft.
  3. Let Cool and Refrigerate Remove from heat, let cool and put in the fridge until early afternoon of the next day.
  4. Prepare the Meat and Onions Take soup out of the fridge and throw away the fat collected on top. Lift the ham onto a big plate. Remove its string casing. Cut the meat or let it fall apart into mouth-size pieces. Take the brown skin off the onions. Put everything back into the pot.
  5. Add the Peeled Carrots and Potatoes Cut the bigger ones in half to make them all of a uniform size. Bring to the boil on high, then turn heat down and simmer until dinner time. The longer and slower it cooks, the better it tastes.
  6. Serve and Surprise! Add a few slices of Hungarian csabai sausage. Don’t worry about the ham bones; just avoid them when you dish the soup into bowls. Use the draining spoon to fish out the egg. Shell it, slice it, put it on a small plate for people to help themselves and drop into their soup bowl. Serves 20 people.

This soup can be frozen. If so, allow 1 1/2 days at room temperature for it to thaw and then discard the layer of fat on the top. Throw out any uneaten potatoes and carrots; add fresh ones and cook as described above.

Happy Reading and Cooking from Cozy Book Basics!