Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hayride Bean Soup

from FB page Remember in
Shreveport when...

I was very young when I first heard about the Louisiana Hayride. I never had the opportunity to see or attend a performance at Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium. I did however frequent the Hayride Kitchen in Bossier City, Louisiana. In fact I thought that was the Hayride. We would go there for dinner and I would see the stage and the sign. That is what the Louisiana Hayride was to me. It was Hayride Kitchen, the restaurant where music played as you ate bean soup served in tiny cast iron kettles, BBQ (I remembered fried fish but the family said BBQ) and drank iced tea in mason jars.

It wasn't until I was in high school that I started to understand the amazing history of both the Louisiana Hayride and the Municipal Auditorium. In high school we learned the auditorium was built in the 1920s, and the architect who designed it was Samuel Weiner. It is admired for its intricate brickwork and as a fine example of Art Deco construction. It is significant for hosting the Louisiana Hayride radio program, from 1948 to 1960. It has been said, that the Hayride is where artists such as Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley, performed and possibly got their careers started. When the Hayride left the municipal, it was later broadcast and kept alive at the Hayride Kitchen until 1987. The municipal remained open all that time as a event venue. As a high school graduate, I like every senior in Caddo schools walked the Municipal's stage to receive my diploma. Still at that age I did not fully understand the importance of this auditorium. 

It wasn't until I got the opportunity to work on the renovations there that it started to sink in. Recently I worked with a team of architects who helped to preserve this fine old building. I got to walk the halls, dressing rooms, basement (not all of it, the basement is one of the haunted areas) and stage. The same areas all those stars began their careers. The halls are lined with photos of all the performers that performed there. There are little closets that have been turned into exhibits showing what it was like in those hay days. 

My little part of the renovations was helping to select new seating to replace some old 60s seating that had seen better times. We choice something that looked more like it had been there from the very beginning. There are still two sections left that are the original wood seats and backs. The municipal staff did an excellent job of restoring these areas with all the original components available. This was one of those jobs or projects that I will always remember. It was an honor to work on a little part of history.

Old 60s Seating

Well I kind of got side tracked didn't I? This post was suppose to be about the Bean Soup recipe from Hayride Kitchen. But I had to tell you about the history of the Hayride and the name sake of the soup, right? Anyway, if you want to know more about the Municipal Auditorium and the Louisiana Hayride check out these great links.

Back to the soup. I really have no way to know for sure if this is the actually soup recipe. I got the recipe a few years ago from a Facebook page Remember in Shreveport when... Since then I have seen other recipes using cans of beans and even soup that claim to be the Hayride recipe. So don't hold me to it. I am more of a foodie and not a historian. I can tell you this soup was delicious. It did bring back great memories of the restaurant. It made me want to go buy some little iron soup kettles. I did make a double recipe and substituted some low sodium ingredients so I could share it with the entire family. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it. The only thing I might add next time is a bay leaf. I just love bay in beans. Oh and I really really want those little iron kettles! It just made this soup special as a child. Thanks for letting me ramble on. I hope you enjoy this soup and the history.

Hayride Bean Soup
Makes 10 servings


2 pound Navy Beans
1 package low sodium bacon, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning
4 tablespoon parsley


Rinse and sort beans. Cover with 12 cups of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat and let stand, covered for 1 hour.

Return beans to a boil and reduce to a simmer; cook beans until tender. Sauté bacon until brown, remove bacon and add to the pot. Remove all but one or two tablespoons of bacon fat. Saute onions, garlic and celery in bacon fat. When veggies begin to soften add to beans. Add more water at this time to desired soup constancy (I added about 5 cups). Cook 2 more hours. Add other ingredients and cook another 20 minutes, then take 1 cup of beans out, mash and return to pot. Cook 10 minutes longer.

Here is the recipe as copied from Facebook:

There is something about the colors in these photos 
that reminds me of my Maw Maw (Dad's Mom). 
Specifically her kitchen or maybe her coffee cups? 
That has nothing to do with this recipe but I just had to share.

Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
The Chicken Chick: Clever Chicks Blog Hop
Love Bakes Good Cakes: The Ultimate Soup Recipe List Linky
Memories By The Mile: Treasure Box Tuesday
Stone Cottage Adventures: Tuesdays with a Twist


  1. What a great post, Denise! I know very little about the Louisiana Hayride other than a handful of big names who played the show.

    Thanks for sharing the history and the soup!

  2. I loved this soup, we went to the Hayride every chance we got while we were stationed at Barksdale AFB. They had a great coleslaw too.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Desie! I loved that place too. I hope you get to try the soup one day. Thank you for your service and time at Barksdale.


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