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Dinner Outside

For Goodness'Sake

Now let's eat

Navy Bean & Ham Soup



  • 1 pound dried navy beans

  • 1 Birch Creek ham hock or ends
    1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper

  • 10 cups water

  • Salt and pepper


  • The Night Before: Place the dried beans in a large bowl and cover with three inches of water. Soak the dried beans overnight (up to 24 hours) to soften. Drain when ready to use.

  • Place a large 6 quart pot over medium heat. Add the oil, ham bone, onions, and garlic. Sauté for 3-5 minutes to soften the onions.

  • Then add in the drained beans, thyme, ground cumin, crushed red pepper, 10 cups of water, and any remaining ham scraps. (Do not salt the soup until the end, because ham bones can be very salty.)

  • Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 60-90 minutes, covered, until the beans are very soft. Uncover and stir occasionally, then place the lid back on top.

  • Use a fork to pull any remaining ham off the bone and stir it into the soup. Discard the bone. Add 1-2 cups additional water if the soup is too thick. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed.

pork hock.jpg

Smoked Duck Soup​


  • 2 quarts of premade duck or chicken broth or water

  • 2-3 Muscovy Duck Backs​

  • 1 pound of fresh mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 tablespoons melted duck fat or olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups rice

  • Salt and black pepper

  • 3/4 pound mustard greens, chopped small

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives

  • Juice of 1 or 2 lemons


  • Start by making the broth. Heat up the premade broth or water to the steaming point, then add the duck carcasses*. If you are using water, feel free to add a chopped up onion, carrot and celery if you have them lying around. Let this steep at the steaming point for 4 hours. Continue on to other steps, and strain the broth after 4 hours. Keep the strained broth warm.

  • While the stock is cooking, preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss the mushrooms with the melted duck fat or oil and salt them well. Set them in a roasting pan and grind some black pepper over them. Roast for 15 minutes and then turn off the heat. Let the mushrooms continue to roast as you do other things. They can sit in the oven for up to 3 hours.

  • About 30 minutes before the broth is ready, pour off 2 cups and put that in a small pot. Add the rice and another cup of water and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat to its lowest setting and cook the rice. When the rice has absorbed all the water, about 15 minutes, turn off the heat but leave the lid on the pot.

  • While the rice is cooking, fish out the carcasses of the ducks and pick off as much meat as you can.

  • To finish the soup, add the chopped mustard greens to the strained broth and let them cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Put some duck meat, rice and mushrooms in individual bowls and ladle over some of the broth and greens. Sprinkle chives on top and add lemon juice and black pepper to taste.

**Additional Culinary Points: Smoked your duck carcasses before adding them to the stock!**

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