Wednesday, October 22, 2008

16 Bean Soup and Cornbread

Mmmm, perfect for cool autumn days and also when you need a comfort soup when sick. This is my son's favorite soup, he says he could eat it until his stomach pops. A slice of hot cornbread and you've got a wonderful cool-weather meal!

1 - 20 oz. package 16-bean soup mix*
1 - 16 oz. package Hillshire Farms LITE Polska Kielbasa, cut into bite-size pieces**
1 onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons salt
1 - 28 oz. can Diced Tomatoes
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste - optional

Do not use the seasoning packet found in the bag of beans, I throw mine away, but you may have another use for it. Place beans in a large stock pot with 6 cups of cold water. Bring to a rapid boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain into a colander and rinse in cold water. Return beans to stockpot, add 8 cups of water, the Polska Kielbasa, onion and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and simmer with lid tilted for 1 ½ hrs. Check periodically to stir and add water if needed. Add can of diced tomatoes. Taste to see if you want to add more salt. At this time, I stir in pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 min.
*16 bean soup mix is found in the dry beans section of the grocery store. In some stores it is 15 bean, which will work just as well. The beans in this mix are: Small white beans, small red beans, black beans, light red kidney beans, large lima beans, red lentils, pearl barley, adzuki beans, green split peas, yellow split peas, pinto beans, baby lima beans, great northern beans, lentils, pink beans and blackeye peas.
** Meat alternatives: ham hocks and/or ham cubed, cubed and cooked beef or chicken.
This is a good recipe for left over beef roast.

1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¼ cup oil
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 10 inch cast iron skillet on burner and put 1 Tablespoon oil in it, heat until oil starts to sizzle. In medium size bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together, then make a “well” in the center. To the “well” add eggs, oil and buttermilk. Mix until well blended. Pour into hot, prepared skillet, spreading batter evenly. Place skillet in oven and bake for 25 minutes.