Hippyjo’s Mighty pork and bean soup

Category: Tasty Simple Non-Pretentious Down Home Comfort Food

Cooking time: All day at least, could take three days easy, depending on how you do things. Best if you let it simmer/sit a day after cooking(tastes even better the second day).

Side-dish pairing options: cornbread, rice, pork quesadillas, tortillas, garlic bread, grilled cheese sandwiches, tamales, tacos, carnitas, shredded extra sharp cheddar and jack cheese, avocado.

Ingredients

One of Bens Pigs
One of Ben`s Pigs

You’ll need the following:

  • One (1) bone-in pork roast from one of Ben’s grass-fed pasture-roaming happy pigs- but not the spotted ones, because mom thinks they’re cute…
  • Two (2) cups of dried pink beans(substitute pinto beans if you can’t find pink beans) from Olivera’s Egg ranch.
  • One (1) cup of diced onion from the Saturday farmers market across from the post office
  • Two (2) ribs of diced celery from the Bolinas farm stand
  • One (1) cup of diced carrots from the backyard
  • Four (4) Bay leaves from Potter Valley
  • Three (3) dried Serrano chilies from Potter Valley
  • One (1) big fat clove of diced garlic from the Saturday farmers market across from the post office
  • One (1) fresh Jalapeno chili from the Saturday farmers market across from the post office
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Cilantro from the Bolinas farm stand
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Parsley from the Saturday farmers market across from the post office
  • One (1) tsp Cumin
  • One (1) tsp Oregano
  • One (1) tsp Paprika
  • ½ tsp Chili Powder (optional)
  • One (1) tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • One (1) lime from the backyard

Instructions

Here’s how I do it, more or less…

Prep

Do the following on the day before(or early morning at latest):

Begin by seasoning and slow-roasting the pork roast. You can take all day doing this step by itself. If you don’t know how to do the slow roast, maybe I’ll tell you how I do it someday, but right now we’re cooking soup. It’s ok if you eat some of the roast once it’s finished, as you’ll mostly need the bones plus a little meat for the soup.

Soak the beans so they are soft. Best results are achieved by soaking overnight. If you forget to start the beans the night before, you can clean and rinse the beans and then cover them with twelve (12) cups of water and bring them to a boil. Once they have begun to boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let the beans sit for at least an hour with the lid in place.

Stock

  1. Remove the bones from the pork roast, but leave some meat on the bones here and there.
  2. Scrape some of the fat from the roast into your stock pot, and set the heat for medium.
  3. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until onions are translucent, and then add garlic. Cook until the onions and garlic starts to brown.
  4. Add Jalapeno and bones. Cover with water and bring to a boil.
  5. Add dried Serrano chilies and Bay leaves.
  6. Reduce heat to a low boil.
  7. Stir every seven (7) minutes for at least four (4) to five (5) hours, until all meat has fallen off the bones (add water as necessary to keep the bones submerged).

When all the meat has fallen off the bone and any pieces of fat have completely dissolved and melted into the stock, it is finished.

You can take a whole day to do this part and let it sit overnight, if you want the best bean soup and you have the time, that is.

Finally, remove the bones and bay leaves.

Now you have the stock to make the Mighty Pork and Bean Soup…

Finally: Cooking the Beans!

  1. If not boiling already, bring your stock to a vigorous boil. You should have at least eight (8) cups of stock. Add water if needed to have at least eight (8) cups.
  2. Add your soaked beans and reduce heat to medium-high.
  3. Add some of the pork roast.
  4. Cook beans for two (2) to three (3) hours, or until the beans are desired texture and firmness.
  5. Add dry seasoning to taste and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Add chopped fresh cilantro and parsley.
  7. Squeeze lime into soup, and stir well.

Serve in deep bowl with at least one of the recommended side-dishes for pairing.

Mighty Pork and Bean Soup
Mighty Pork and Bean Soup

Good Morning! November 15, 2019

The city-scape of San Jose in early dawn light- streetlights are still illuminated
Looking north and west across San Jose towards Sunnyvale and Mountain View – 11/15/2019

A shifting of light reveals the sights of the valley in muted green, gray, and foggy blue hues. Streetlights still shine in the coming glow of dawn, competing for attention in a sparkling cityscape that quietly glistens with potential and intrigue.

Laid out for my inspection and inspiration, I take note of all the great works and great failings of this crossroads of prosperity and change. I am both humbled and motivated to witness and be a part of it.

I walk on.

My morning routine has changed over time, but this path grows more constant and continues to provide a perspective that increases my awareness and informs my ever-opening mind.

Lessons learned, and lessons still in play, I rise and climb this hill as a metaphor for my life.

Momentarily, I can see the past and the future all laid out in the pre-dawn quiet. I savor the calm before the game is fully in play. The fragile calm before the city has come alive in the bustling chaos of another day.

As I descend into the valley again, I make note of the beauty along the way. I remember to be thankful for all that is. Mindful, I walk in peace and contemplate my world.

My neighbors arise and begin to come out into the morning chill and begin their days.

Children head off to school, lugging their backpacks and musical instruments while others are driven like tiny delicate royalty. They are all greeted the same by teachers and custodians alike.

Still more people emerge and race off on their way to cubicles, offices, factories, and stores- providing the lifeblood for another day in paradise.

Domestic bliss left behind, the masses converge on the jammed and humming highways and city streets- giving proof once again that we are not done with this world. We still have much ass to kick.

Life goes on, once again, in all of its infinite ways. For better or for worse, our momentum has brought us here to another day together.

Last night someone left an encouraging message on the sidewalk, written in chalk. Temporary messages like this somehow seem more meaningful when you find them intact- I share it with you:

You can shine brighter than a star just be who you are
Anonymous message in chalk on a sidewalk.

You can shine brighter than a star

Just be who you are

~ Anonymous

Encouraging words written for no one and everyone bring an auspicious welcome to your day. So breathe deep, and face the day happy if you can.

I say to you – ’twas ever thus…

…and Good Morning!