Well, I said I would post the recipe of the Dutch version of German Bean soup so here it is.
Just remember, I'm a woman, and women don't always go exactly by the recipe. Where it says 3 litres water, I just fill up my saucepan...and...yep, that looks about right. It could be 2 1/2 or then again maybe 3 1/2 litres. It's the same with the veges. Be inventive.
about 3 litres water
500g white beans, washed and soaked- e.g haricot beans. [as long as they're white, what does it matter. I've used kidney or borlotti beans before too]
2 bay leaves
2 good sized carrots
1 large leek
1 bunch spring onions
finely chopped parsley
1 large cabbage leaf
1 rook worst [available from most supermarkets]
1 smoked hock [available from most supermarkets]
salt and pepper
1 tbs oil
Wash the hock and place in the saucpan with the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 2 1/2 hours [depends on the size of the hock]
While this is simmering away, prepare all the veges. You know, chop them up and all that, that is... the carrots, the leeks and the spring onions. Just wash the cabbage leaf [as a whole] and keep it separate for now.
Make sure you thoroughly wash the chopped leeks a couple of times as there seems to be a lot of dirt between the leaves. I use all the leek right up to about 2 cms from the end, but you might have to take an extra outside leaf off. I strip off the outside leaf and split down the middle, then chop into 1/2 cm pieces.
About one hour into the cooking time of the hock, add the soaked and drained beans to the pot. Bring back to the boil and continue simmering.
Heat the oil in another pan and gently fry the carrots for 10 minutes.
At 1 1/2 hours into the cooking time add all the veges, including the whole cabbage leaf. Bring back to the boil and continue simmering. Remove the cabbage leaf after 15 mins.
About 20 mins before the end of your cooking time add the rook worst. Try not to boil too hard as this will split the rook worst and you will lose your flavour.
After your 2 1/2 hours cooking time, remove the the hock and the rook worst. Let them cool for about 10 mins. You can remove the bay leaves as well. Test the beans to ensure they are cooked and then you can turn the stove off too.
Remove the skin and fat from the hock and take all the meat off the bone, chop into smallish pieces and return to the soup. Do the same with the rook worst.
Lovely on a cold, wet day with chunky bread and butter or whatever you like best with your soup.