Tonight's dinner was very low cost and really yummy. Bean soup is a staple for anyone on a budget. If you happen to have a ham bone lying around it becomes a deluxe staple.
Ham and Bean Soup
1 meaty ham bone
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups dried navy beans, rinsed and presoaked
8 cups of water
1 T liquid smoke
1 tsp mustard powder
1 T black pepper
1 T sea salt(at end, to taste)
In a large dutch oven I sauteed the ham bone until the drippings in the bottom were substantial. I removed the bone to a plate and sauteed the onions and garlic in it. Once tender I transferred these to a crock pot. I put the ham bone back in and sauteed again getting more drippings and then added water and the pre-soaked beans to the pot. If you do not have pre-soaked dried navy beans, you can use the quick soak method. Making sure the beans were covered with the water, I cooked the beans till they were tender.
Turning my attention to the crock pot, I added the seasonings(except the salt)to the onion/garlic mixture and 1 cup of water and turned the crock pot on low and covered it.
WHen the beans were tender, I removed the bone again and poured the tender beans in the crock pot and allowed everything to cook on high until the flavors melded a bit. I picked the bone some more and added the rest of the ham to the crock pot and added salt to taste.
We served it with rolls, but cornbread might be good too.
The bone was from New Years dinner and the beans were in the house, so this cost me very little and it was really good. Unfortunately there were no leftovers :(