Soay Bean Soup

An easy, tasty bean soup flavored with Soay or other mild-flavored sheep bones



The mild flavor of pinto beans goes well with the mild flavor of Soay sheep meat. I plan to try several different kinds of beans and customize the recipe for varying bean flavors.

If you are using a conventional soup pot on the stovetop, use the lowest possible setting and cook for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.

The marrow in raw bones, if they are cut crosswise, provides some thickening. Cooked bones, e.g., the bone left over from eating a fancy leg of lamb dinner, will not provide thickening but will impart whatever seasonings were used with the leg of lamb, and also the lovely browned bits of fat and skin will add more flavor.

The single vegetables in this recipe are for flavor. More vegetables could be added, turning the dish into a vegetable and bean soup. For example, add a cup of frozen peas and a cup of frozen corn shortly before dinner, switch to the "high" setting on the Crockpot, and a few minutes later the soup will be ready.

If you do not have a jar of herbs de Provence on the shelf, substitute any or all of thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, or marjoram. Sage is a bit strong for this dish.

Bon appétit!