Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Soup Beans And Cornbread

This title can mean different things depending upon where you live or were raised.  Since I grew up in the North, about 75 miles south of Pittsburgh, soup beans were white (navy in our house) and for my East Tennessee wife they were brown (pintos) and our cornbread was yellow while hers was white.  So the other day when Bev said she wanted beans, I was sure it meant pintos, but after a look in the pantry, she surprisingly decided on a mix of navy and great northern beans (we didn't have enough pintos and we're still trying to reduce our inventory in the pantry).

For me, regular cornbread is only good hot out of the oven smothered in butter or beans, but Mary’s recipe, from One Perfect Bite, for bacon and onion cornbread muffins sounded like it would be even good leftover, so it was the choice for this meal.

After an hour soak, we put the beans on about noon with some smoked ham hocks and minced garlic that had been cooking in water for the same hour, and let them cook until 6pm.  Bev made the cornbread using the inspiration from Mary’s recipe but used what we had on hand so her recipe became the following (remember, she’s the real cook in this family and pancakes is as close as I get to baking):


6 thick slices of Benton’s smoked bacon, already cooked and crumbled
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 2/3 cup White Lily Cornmeal Mix
1 teaspoon baking powder (for additional raising)
2 large eggs
½ stick salted butter, melted and cooled
1¼ cups plain Greek yogurt (used due to not enough sour cream)
¼ sour cream
¼ cup milk 


1) Melt 1 tbsp of bacon grease in a skillet, add onions, and cook over moderately low heat until softened and translucent (or leave 1 tbsp of grease in skillet if bacon is freshly fried).

2) Sift cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.

3) In another bowl whisk together eggs, butter, yogurt, sour cream, and milk, stir in the bacon, onion and the cornmeal mixture, and beat batter well. Divide batter among 12 well-buttered standard muffin cups and bake muffins in middle of a preheated 425-degree F oven for 20 minutes, or until they are golden.  Rather than well-buttered, Bev used bacon grease in the muffin tin wells.

4) Turn the muffins out onto a rack and let them cool. Yield: 12 muffins (Ours made 18 smaller muffins). 

Bev added no addition salt since she used salted butter and pretty salty country style bacon.

First of all, the beans were very good, but the highlight was the muffins, which were delicious.

The first 12 were made as described above and the final 6 had shredded pepper jack cheese added to them.

My meal of three muffins topped with beans and chopped green onion was outstanding.

But the last muffins with the cheese in them were to die for.  After Beverly, my buddy Joe and I ate our fill and sent some home with Joe for his wife, the muffins were gone and one of the things I wanted to find out was if they were still good the next day.  Oh well, guess we’ll just have to make another batch.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago: Chicken Chow Mein


01/12/2012 meal date


  1. I'm an ole Southern girl and I love my beans and cornbread too. Didn't know until I married a Yankee that they put a lot of sugar in their cornbread. Tastes like cake to me.

    Love cheese in the cornbread. And you know they were good the next day - you just want a chance to eat them again Larry. (smile) Great post to start the day.

  2. I've only started to realize how much I love beans over the last year! I know.. look at what I've been missing out on, right? And cornbread.. well, I've never met a piece of cornbread I didn't like!!

  3. I love bean soup. I too was raised on the Navy/Northern bean soup, being from Ohio. I always look forward to using my ham bone to make a great pot of soup. Thanks. The cornbread looks great too. We never ate cornbread in Ohio. But as a converted southerner, I love it.

  4. ok, you have just forced me out of grocery store probation. This is a must make and I don't have the ingredients on hand. Being from Kansas, I don't know where we fall in the food tradition category. Growing up, soup beans always meant white, but I don't remember alot of cornbread. The little we had was yellow. Anyway, I love this idea of the beans over the bread. Will be making very soon.

  5. Looks delicious, as always! I love all kinds of beans but the ones I miss are the lima beans. (I was born about 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh!)

    I don't know why I have never tried to make them...

  6. Larry, It looks like Bev whipped up a great little meal for you! The muffins, especially with the jack cheese, sound terrific and the beans are just pure comfort food... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  7. I love white bean & ham soup - yours looks hearty and tasty. The corn muffins sound divine -love the onion & bacon in there.

  8. Pintos or navy, those beans look delicious. Is White Lily just cornmeal or it a mix that you added other ingredients to? Sounds so good with those beans.

  9. ...beans for us are red kidneys or great northerners. Loos like you wound up with a top shelf meal perfect for the dreary blustery days we've been dealt lately.

  10. What a great meal, Larry. I'm glad you enjoyed the muffins. You asked about the weather. Seattle and Portland were hard hit. Here in the valley it has mostly been rain and high winds. We will pay the price for no snow with local flooding. Snow in Eugene is dependent on elevation and it didn't get cold enough for more than a light dusting. I can testify to the fact that we've got black ice though. I'm so glad I learned to drive back east :-). Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  11. It sounds delicious, Larry! Soup beans (navy beans) and cornbread are awesome, a fave meal. In fact, I just had some left over for lunch today---poured the thick soup over sliced yellow cornbread and put a plop of ketchup on top. I could eat left over cornbread for days and days. Now those muffins are next on the list to make and pinto bean soup sounds great also!

  12. cannot beat a good hearty bean soup, I make them often - so glad to find you too... hope to read more good recipes like this one soon

  13. Hi Larry, I'd love that meal for sure. I love beans and even though I'm a southern gal and would choose Pintos, I wouldn't mind the bean combo dish.... YUM....

    I'm not crazy about cornbread (unless it is the sweet cornbread --which I love) --but I think I'd love the ones that Bev made (using bacon and onion--and cheese)..... YUM...

    I'd have to have some chow chow for my beans --but wouldn't put the cornbread IN the soup... I'd eat them both but separately....

  14. Larry, that is my kind of meal. Mary's corn muffins sound fabulous and I love the modifications that Bev made. Being from Michigan, beans and cornbread were never a part of our meals, but when we moved to NC our neighbor, with a large family, made pinto beans and cornbread once a week to stretch the food budget. My favorite cornbread is Rosa's cooked in an iron skillet. I have blogged about it. We only make it once a year because it so rich; no sugar, but lots of fat. Stay warm.

  15. I was raised on pinto beans and yellow cornbread! I don't eat them together like you did but my husband does. He adds onion to his too. I'm afraid that one of my favorite cornbread recipes is from a box. Teays Valley Corn Bread is a local company here in West Virginia and I just love their cornbread mix. I've made it from corn meal from the grist mill at Jackson's Mill in Weston using the recipe they provided. It was good but I like my box mix the best.

  16. Beans and cornbread are on of the best comfort food meals, I think. Those muffins look delicious, so I'll have to try them.
    Have a great day Larry.

  17. Corn bread with pepper jack cheese? That sounds right up my alley.

    You can't rush good beans, can you?


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