Friday, July 6, 2007

French Market Soup

This soup is unbelievable. (Probably not what you'd make on a sweltering day, but really, really good.)

2 qts. water
1 qt. chicken stock
salt and pepper
2 meaty country ham hocks
1 bag of 18 bean mix
1 bouquet garni
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
2 c. chopped onions
2 c. chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large chicken breasts

Sort through and thoroughly wash beans. Soak beans 4 hours or overnight in enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. Drain and rinse the beans. In a stock pot, combine beans, 2 qts cold water, chicken stock, pepper, ham and bouquet garni. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and cook, covered, 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add salt, tomotoes (chopped, including all the juice), onions, celery and garlic. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken. Cover and cook on medium low for and additional 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Soup should be thickening slightly. Locate and remove ham hocks, chicken and bouquet garni onto a plate to cool. Discard bouquet garni. Place all meats on a cutting board and carefully discard bones and fat. Dice meats finely and return to soup.

Freezes very well. Serves 10-12.

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