Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Living in Sin Soup

So, in this, the Snowmalamadingdong (TM), I decided I wanted a warm, hearty soup. However, I didn't really have much of a recipe or list of ingredients or anything.

What I did have: leftover spiral sliced ham that needed to be used up, frozen black eyed peas, and the Interwebs.  As I surfed for bean soup recipes, I kinda made this one up after looking at approximately 7 million recipes.

I call this Living in Sin Soup because the beans I used were so old I bought them before I married Sean--when we were, in fact, living in sin.  I'm gonna say they're at minimum 6 years old--at max 9 years old. I know I bought them for a crockpot soup recipe, and our relationship was new enough that Sean ate the soup even though he doesn't like any bean, save green and pinto.  So, I'm gonna guess it's in year one of our relationship. Estimated purchase date of bean: 2002.

The beginning ingredients
strategically arranged
Ingredients I Started With
8 c water
1/3 c dried lima beans
2/3 c dried split peas
1/3 c dried navy beans
1/3 c dried light red kidney beans
2 chicken bullion cubes
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t cumin
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 c dried onion
1 c leftover ham
1 c carrots
4 handfuls of kale
1 c frozen black eyed peas

Ingredients Sean or I added When I Realized It Needed Something
1 t celery salt (Sean)
Crap-ton more black pepper (me)

Begin by putting the first 10 ingredients into a pot.  Bring it to a boil, then cover and remove from the heat for 1 hour.

When you put the bean in the pot,
be prepared, it looks like a 70s craft project. 
Ham for dogs, please? This is
my "desperate for ham" face.
As the beans soak or soften or whatever they do in secret in the pot, chop up your leftover ham. Be sure to let your OCD take over and fixate on all your ham pieces being the same size.  Fixate to the extent that you drop several pieces of ham on the floor.  Feel free to curse loudly when you lose precious, precious pieces of ham because you Can't. Let. It. Go.

Ham is delicious, Momma
Most of the family was either napping (Ainsley) or indifferent to the soup (Sean's previously mentioned bean prejudices, Xander cannot eat bean soup).  The only assistance I had in the kitchen for this challenge was Boomer, who dutifully picked up any of the ham I dropped on the floor and begged for more.

After the hour has passed, you should add the ham, carrots, kale, and black eyed peas. I found this stage to be quite pretty.  The kale and carrots are all bright and crisp.  I have to admit, I've estimated the amount of kale.  I put 4 handfuls of kale into the soup; however, I have wee carny hands, so your handful size may vary. I'd estimate that I put 1c of kale in the pot.  I am pretty spatially challenged, though.  I also once estimated that a 12ft room was 5ft, so I wouldn't hold my powers of estimation in too much esteem.  Btw, I firmly held to my belief until Sean won the argument by saying, "You really think you could lay down and touch both walls with the top of your head and the bottoms of your feet?" (Yeah, I'm very short.)

Were Ainsley here, she'd have said,
"MESS, Momma!  MESS!"
I used a medium sized pot to make this soup; this was a mistake.  Once I put the lid on the soup, it made a huge mess and got crap all over Sean's newly cleaned stove.  ANYWAY, bring the new mixture to a boil, then cover the soup and let it simmer:

  • Until the beans are to the consistency of your choosing
  • Until you can't stand it anymore and Must. Eat.
You should stir the soup every now and then...taste test.  It was about hour 2 that I added the crap-ton of pepper.  In hour 3, I made Sean taste it and he deemed celery salt necessary.  I think, all in all, I let the soup simmer on super low (the small burner set to low) for about 3 hours and on regular low (the medium burner set to low) for another hour.

Serve the soup with bread--we had presliced multigrain French bread (left over from a spinach and artichoke dip endeavor). Now...for those of you, like me, who are watching your calories/fat/etc., here comes the really good part of this recipe.  This soup makes 10 8oz servings.  Each serving has 128 calories with 1.5g fat, 21.5g carb, and 21.5 g protein.
Mmmm...2.5 servings of soup!


  1. Soup looks fantastic but I'm mildly suspicious of the exact nutritional information you provide right after you self-admitted lack of measuring skills. But stated in confidence, it's believable and adds to the appeal. Well done.

  2. It may be livin in sin soup, and I suspect it's because chunks of ham (while a wonderful addition to any soup) aren't kosher.