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A Famous Soup, Made Not-So Famous


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My husband (posting here as Jim in Colorado) really likes to eat at The Buckhorn Exchange. It is one of Denver’s historic restaurants, and they have tasty food. They serve a huge variety of food, and it’s a good place to try meats that you might not normally have an opportunity to eat.

The restaurant publishes its bean soup recipe on its web site. We always have to eat the bean soup when we go, even though we know it’s going to make us feel too full. And it always does.

Now that Fall weather is here, I’ve been hungry for soup, and we had never made The Buckhorn Exchange Famous Bean Soup before, so thought we’d make that.

We followed the recipe, but added some things we like and made it just a little different. So I guess we made the famous soup, just not so famous.


How to make A Famous Bean Soup, Made Not So Famous: Printable

Their recipe says:
1 pound Great Northern beans
1/2 cup diced onion
3 ounces diced ham
1 ounce chicken base
1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
1 tsp Liquid Smoke
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp white pepper
½ gallon water
1 ounce cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Place first 9 ingredients in a large pot, cover and place in a 200 degree oven for 8 hours. When beans are tender, remove from oven, place on stovetop and bring to boil. Mix cornstarch and ½ cup water, add to soup to thicken, and let simmer for 15 minutes.

And we did all that. But we also added:
3/4 cup diced onion (instead of 1/2 cup called for)
3/4 cup diced carrot
3/4 cup diced celery

We also added more ham. I wanted to add a half pound of diced ham, and Jim did put in a little more, but not much. Hmmmmpf!

We placed it all in a cast iron Dutch oven. You could also, I’m sure, make this in a slow cooker.

The house smelled really good while this was cooking, and our tongues were happy when it was done. The beans were tender, the soup had little chunky vegetables and pieces of ham throughout, and the broth was flavorful. It made a good-sized batch, but not so much that we’ll have to eat it every day for a week.

And if you ever get to Denver, try to make time in your schedule to eat a meal at The Buckhorn Exchange! If not, visit the restaurant web site and take the video tour. That’s good fun!

Kathi N blogs at Granddad’s Corner.

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Posted by on November 8, 2011 | Permalink  

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10 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 11-8

    Great post. This sounds absolutely wonderful. It’s chilly hear and the perfect weather for soup. I can’t wait to give your recipe a try.

  2. 11-8

    I had forgotten about the Buckhorn. Thanks for reminding me. Maybe next time through on the way to Cheyenne we will stop for the soup. In the meantime your version sounds delicious.

  3. 11-8

    This kind of bean soup is my favorite, I’ll have to make it when we have company next time.

  4. 11-8

    Kathi N–this may seem like a dumb question but those beans were soaked overnight before you started cooking them? Right??

    By the way, your additions seem great!

  5. 11-8

    I make that same soup but use a ham hock and then I add a little corn and chopped up potato with the other veggies.

  6. 11-8

    Joy — nope! Even easier, right?

  7. 11-8

    I love the Buckhorn, even though the neighborhood stinks. If you go there, make sure to check their liquor license, it was the first one ever issued. Also make sure to catch the two-headed calf mounted above the stairs. 😀

  8. 11-8

    This soup sounds like it might be really good. A question though…what is chicken base, is it the same thing as chicken bullion?

  9. 11-8

    Drucillajoy: It’s similar to bouillon, but it’s a wet component. We used “Better Than Bouillon” that we found in the bouillon area of our grocery store. It was $3.89 for the 8oz jar. You could probably find it on if you don’t have it locally.

  10. 11-8

    I ate at the The Buckhorn years ago. It was so good. I tried a little of everything except Rocky Mountain oysters. lol

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