Monday, September 19, 2011

Dodge City Bean Soup Recipe

It was once the wildest, wickedest city in the west. And who, thanks to television’s “Gunsmoke”, has not heard of Dodge City, Kansas, of Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Belle Starr, Doc Holliday? Dodge City today is no longer the wildest, wickedest stop on the western cattle trail. Dried beans have always been used to stretch meat. now comes this old Dodge City recipe in which the beans themselves are stretched with stale bread crumbs. This, surely, is the ultimate lesson in economy, for each hearty bowl of soup costs about ten cents (in 1984). It is an utterly unpretentious soup - no herbs or spices to season, but its richness of flavor will surprise you. Serve eight.

1 small soup bone, about 1-1/2 lbs. - pork, beef, ham or lamb
2 quarts cold water
1 cup dried navy beans
2 cups boiling water
3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium-sized white turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced
2-1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1-1/2 cups fine dry bread crumbs
1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and sliced very thin

Step 1. Boil the soup bone in the 2 quarts of water in a large, heavy soup kettle about 2 hours, until the meat falls from the bone. Clean meat from bone; return meat to soup and discard bone.

Step 2. While the soup bone boils, soak the dried beans in the 2 cups boiling water, in a small covered saucepan. Add beans and their soak water to the soup kettle, cover and simmer one hour. Add potatoes, turnips, parsnips, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and the pepper. Cover and simmer about 1-1/2 hours, uncover and simmer a 1/2 hour longer. Taste for salt and add more salt if needed. Stir in the bread crumbs and top each portion, if you like, with a slice or two of onion. Serve hot.

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