1011 Hoffman Drive ..................
An American Restaurant, 40 minutes south of the Twin Cities.
Homemade Pies, Cakes, Soups, Chili and comfort foods of all types.
We appreciate your support. Please rate us on Trip Advisor
We have been voted "Best of" by readers of Southern Minnesota Scene in two categories for 2014 and 2015 and 2016; Best Pancakes and Best Fish Fry, thank you to all who voted for us, we appreciate your support.
I take alot of pride in the homemade soups we serve at the Kernel. I thought I'd give a little history of each of our soups. This week it our Bean & Ham. Served every Monday, sometimes on Tuesday.
What's in it? I start by buying a wide variety of dried beans. These include Black Turtle beans, Red Beans,
Yellow and Brown Lentils, Great Northern Beans, Pinto Beans, Lima Beans, Cannelinis, Split Peas. I combine all these beans in varying proportion with the largest being the Great Northerns. Usually I buy about 100 pounds total of these beans at one time to get the proper proportions.
I like to start the cooking process very early in the morning as it will take several hours to prepare this soup properly, rushing it will bring the starches out to quickly resulting in a muddy taste. I like to add a little white pepper, chopped onion, Kitchen bouquet and Minor's Ham base. I don't need to add salt to the soup as the ham base contains enough. I slow cook the beans for several hours then add ketchup and diced ham towards the end. This soup is as easy as there is to make, provided you have a steam-jacketed kettle. Thats why we normally have it on Monday, as I have alot to do on Monday mornings and I need a no-fuss soup.
Of all the soups we make at the Kernel, the one that has the most faithful following among our customers is the Potato Dumpling that we have served every Wednesday for at least the last 20 years. We've had requests to run the soup more often, or even every day, but after experimenting with having it other days of the week, and more often, I've decided the best way to do it is to have it once a week, the same day, that way those who really want it, know when we will have it available. The soup actually goes back to my child hood when my dear mother made a version of this at our home. She always made homemade noodles and when she didn't want to take the time to make the noodles, she would make these dumplings that are more a free form noodle than a dumpling, but once you have them in your soup, you quickly become addicted. To make the soup you will need the following:
Diced raw potato (russets)
Eggs, Flour, Butter, Milk, Heavy Cream,
Ham or Bacon,
Parsley Flakes, white pepper, onion salt.
For making this at home start with a quart of water with some chicken base added, or a quart of chicken stock, dice up about half of a medim sized yellow onion and add that to your stock. Add about 3 medium sized russet potatoes, peeled and diced to the liquid and put it in a large stock pot and put it on medium heat.
In the mean time crack 3 or 4 large eggs and beat well (by hand) in a mixing bowl, add some salt and pepper to your egg mixture and slowly add flour while whisking until the you have a thick and sticky batter, too thick your dumplings will be too heavy, not thick enough your dumplings will fall apart into little pieces, you'll learn with exerience.
When your potatoes are nearly tender, start dropping your egg/flour mixture into the still boiling stock, use a larger spoon to drop them in, I like to dip the spoon into the stock to heat it, then scoop some dumpling mixutre with the hot spoon and dip it into the stock, the dumpling should let go of your spoon, try not to make your dumplings too large. Keep stirring the soup from the bottom during this process and make sure your stock is at a low boil. Once your have all the dumplings in the stock and your potatoes are nearly done add some milk and a little heavy cream (cream is optional). While stirring occassionally to make sure your soup doesn't stick, melt about half a stick of butter and stir in enough flour to make a paste the consistency of apple sauce. Stir this roux into your still cooking soup pot, and turn it down to the lowest setting. Add some diced ham or some crumbled crsipy cooked bacon, some parsley flakes, some white pepper and onion salt. Stir and taste, if your think your soup is too thick at this point, add some more milk.
This soup can be tempermental, my advice is to make sure you control the heat so it doesn't scorch, with milk it is very easy to scorch and scorching will ruin the flavor. Good luck!
Of all the homemade soups we make at the Kernel, the one we have gotten the most requests for a recipe for is the Cabbage & Ham. It is very easy to prepare, but one ingredient may be hard to come by for the average cook, we will discuss this later. First of all you will need to prep your cabbage, rutabaga and onions. I won't give you the same recipe we use at the restaurant because you probably won't want 7 gallons of soup to eat at your place. I will give you a general guide, you can decide how much to make. Clean a head of cabbage and chop it into rather large pieces, it will fall apart during the cooking process. Try and find a small rutabaga, peel it and chop it into bite size pieces. Chop a small yellow onion, put these three ingredients into you largest pot and add enough water to cover all. Bring this to a boil and when the rutabaga is tender, add a can of diced tomato. Next add some sugar (about 1/2 cup should do). Season with salt and pepper. Now add a cup of your favorite ketchup. What you need now is some ham base. The best I've found it Minor's. Unfortunately you probably won't find this in a grocery store, so find the best quality ham soup base you can find and add a couple tablespoons. Add some diced cooked ham, let the flavors marry on the stove for a while and you should be done. Don't make your soup too thick, or the cabbage will absorb the liquid you have left and your leftovers will not be very good. You will have leftovers unless you have a very large family.