SMOKY BEAN SOUP
This is a recipe that comes from yet another out of print, and rather under appreciated book: Blue Corn and Chocolate by Elisabeth Rozin. I recently picked up a copy of this for next to nothing and find it to be a really decent book. I really admire projects like this that take on the many, many foods that the New World has bestowed on the rest of the world, and present recipes from both Native American and international culinary traditions. This recipe is from the former repertoire.
1 lb. dried navy beans
6 whole cloves
1 large onion, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 ribs celery, with leaves if they have any, chopped
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 to 1 1/2 lb. smoked turkey parts
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1. Soak the beans in water for 4 hours or overnight. Drain. (my note: I don't ever soak overnight, it's just not something that is needed, and most Native cooks don't bother).
2. Stick the cloves in the whole onion.
3. In a soup pot combine the drained beans, the onion, along with all the other ingredients, except the salt and pepper. Bring to boil and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the beans are tender.
4. Stir in the salt and pepper. Remove the onion, bay leaves and turkey parts. Serve soup hot. Frybread on the side is never a bad addition. (My note: you can chop the turkey meat and add it back, or use it for Smoked Turkey Tacos with Guacamole.)
You can use Great Northern or Pea Beans.
Substitute any dried bean.
Buy a multi-bean pack for soup and use those.
Substitute the turkey with ham.
Spice it up with cayenne or chiles.