Margo: How did your bean soup recipe come to be? I thought it was from Grandma.
Mom: I didn't like my mom's. It wasn't very tasty - beans and milk with bread. Came from Ohio, I think. I adapted mine from an Amish cookbook after tasting it in restaurants and I looked around until I found a recipe that came close to it.
Mom's Bean SoupSoak 2 c. dried navy beans in 2.5 quarts water.
Add 1 smoked ham hock.
Boil for at least an hour. Beans should be starting to get soft.
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
1-2 potatoes, diced [I omit these if I'm going to freeze the soup]
1 cup canned tomatoes with juice [I usually use 2 c.]
My mother is much more attractive than bean soup - let's look at her. This a spring Sunday evening, eating s'mores and messing around.
Margo: What would you serve with this soup to make it a meal?
Mom: Crusty bread, cheese, pickles, or pickled red beets (something sour)
Margo: What's your favorite soup to make?
Mom: Probably potato soup. Potatoes are my favorite food, the soup is thick and nourishing, and I love the flavor of potato, celery, onion and sometimes hardboiled eggs.
My parents with their grandchildren.
Margo: Describe your cooking style.
Mom: Hmmmmm. . . probably no-frills, nourishing, hearty, maybe just plain-old, down-home, family-style cookin'. I love to make old family favorites. I like to make comfort food. I probably make soup every week - I keep it on hand in the winter.
Two Naomi Ruths!
Margo: Is there a cooking goal you haven't achieved yet?
Mom: At this stage in life? No. I like what I make and am open to new recipes that sound good, but I'm satisfied with how I cook.