Old fashion bean soup, cook a pot of beans weekly

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

One of the reasons I was so interested in being a part of Cookbook Sundays, is this.....

But this shot does not show everything. I was not able to get the whole shelf in the photo! There is a couple of other important items on the shelf, but they are small. Like photos of my kids in high school, and now a little book of photos of my granddaughter. Oh and that bottle of instant chlorine remover, but we no longer have a fish, I guess that could go. Although I don't think that would make enough room for another cookbook.

Even with all those, I continue to pick up unusual cookbooks when I am out thrifting, like the cookbook that only has prune recipes, or the one on Onions. Sometimes I will find a companion book to one that I already own. Other times I will find a good deal on a book I already have, knowing my daughter would enjoy having it. I am always interested in these older theme books, like this one from Southern Living,

Southern Living Inflation Cookbook, Good Food for Hard Times (Published in 1973)

Old Fashioned Bean Soup, a time honored soup that everyone enjoys.
Not a pretty soup, but delicious, filling and frugal.

Old Fashioned Bean Soup
adapted from Southern Living 

2 c red beans

3 qt water (I am using 2 qt water and 1 qt chicken bone broth)
meaty ham bone or hock
1 c chopped onion
2 cloves garlic minced
1 bay leaf

1 c mashed potatoes* OR 1 large potato grated if you are out of leftover mashed potatoes!
1-2 c sliced celery
1-2 c sliced carrots
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 c cream or evaporated milk

Soak beans overnight in water to cover, plus 2 inches. Drain beans, place in a large kettle, add onion, garlic and bay leaf. Add 2 quarts cold water and the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours. 

Add grated potato, celery, and carrots. Add salt and pepper to taste, starting with 1 1/2 t salt. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. 

I am not usually one to call names, however, so far this is one ugly soup! Let's take another look in one hour when we finish up with adding the milk.

Remove ham hock, if desired mash some of the bean mixture, with a potato masher. Remove meat from the hock bone, dice and return to soup kettle.

Stir in milk or cream and serve.

Still not pretty! But by golly, this is a very tasty soup.

Makes about 4 Qts of soup. Garnish with smoked paprika if desired.


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An update of random thoughts:   Next time (and there will probably be a next time, this is a very good, basic recipe) I would use white beans, 2 potatoes, 2 bay leaves as well as increase the celery and carrots to 3 c each. I would add new, 1 t thyme leaves - crushed.


  1. Looks don't mean a thing when it comes to soup!

    What fun looking at your cookbooks, I tried to match ones that I had!

  2. I used to have about 300 cookbooks, but now I have only half that, counting the little checkout cook booklets. I find more and more that I'm drawn to food blogs and food websites to find recipes. Many of my cookbooks were being ignored, so I found new homes for them.

    I will still buy a cookbook on occasion, but now I have rules. There must be a photo for every recipe, there must be three or more recipes in it that I know with certainty that I'll use, and it must be cheap, which 99% of the time, means it must be used.

  3. WOW! That is some cookbook collection. I did the same thing as Pam, try and match ones I had. What fun to read all the names of your cookbooks. I feel better now, you have a much bigger collection than me so it's okay for me to add to my collection. I can't let you have more than me. :o) Your post made me laugh, I've had food I've called ugly before. And I think it was soup. I bet it's delicious though and it really is a lovely colour. Thanks for sharing with Cookbook Sundays!!

  4. I love looking at cookbooks and like everyone else, tried matching my titles to yours - fun! Soups never photograph well for me, either, but that doesn't mean anything about their deliciousness! I love bean soup - bookmarking!

  5. The title of that book made me chuckle. If I saw it, I would buy it too, but you know how I love old recipes. The soup sounds very good but I have never heard of adding cream to a bean soup.

  6. And I thought my cookbook collection was bad! - you have an AMAZING collection!!!!

    And that soup looks wonderful!

    Happy Sunday!
    ~avril ;-)

  7. I thought that was a library at first!!! WOW now that's a collection! The soup sounds really good, I'm a sucker for bean soup, and the uglier it is the better :)

  8. Okay, the first photo really is a good one (not ugly). Makes we want some right now. I've been wanting to make "senate bean soup" too, for quite some time. Thanks for the "push" ;D

  9. Ok, maybe not beautiful, but I bet it tastes great. I did a soup for a post yesterday too, which didn't turn out to be any raving beauty but sure tasted good. Besides, as I always say - a blind man would be pleased to see it :-)

    Loved the photo of your cookbook collection - doesn't make me feel so guilty now about all of mine (which is nowhere near as many as you).


  10. your cookbook collection looks like mine.i love cookbooks so much! the recipe you shared looks amazing...thank you for sharing it with tuesday night supper club


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