Category Archives: Beans

Christmas Lima Bean and Chicken Soup

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChristmas Lima Bean and Chicken Soup

I love to make homemade soup during the cold winter months here in Southern Oregon. Several weeks ago I received a bag of dried Christmas Lima Beans as a gift from my uncle and aunt.  I’ve never seen or heard of Christmas Lima Beans before, so naturally, I was really excited to try them.  Christmas Lima Beans are an heirloom variety of Lima Beans that have a lovely white and rust speckled color.  I was surprised to see that they are larger than the traditional white Lima beans that I know and love.  They hold their shape nicely and they darken in color slightly when cooked.


I had no idea how uncommon these big beautiful beans were. I’ve never seen this variety of legume locally in Southern Oregon and after doing some research, I found that I can purchase them online from a grower in the Southern California area. The fact that they are a heirloom variety and non GMO make them complete winners in my book.  One day, when Bruce and I have adequate garden space, I will be planting a few long rows of these amazingly delicious beans. 

My Christmas Lima Bean and Chicken Soup is really easy to make.  It’s hearty, healthy and most of all delicious!  Feel free to substitute the common white Lima beans if you don’t have access to the Christmas Lima beans. Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 cups Christmas Lima Beans (soaked in water overnight, picked over and rinsed well)
  • 2 cups chopped leeks
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 pound cooked chopped chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken thighs)
  • 1 1/2 qt chicken stock (or more as desired)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 – 2 tsp garlic paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place a heavy bottomed pot on medium high heat add leeks, onion, celery and  carrots.  Cook until onions are opaque, taking care not to burn.  Turn down to medium low heat, add the Christmas Lima Beans, 1 1/2 quarts of chicken stock, thyme, coriander, garlic paste and pepper. Cover and cook with a gentle simmer for a about an hour.  Add cooked chicken and salt to taste towards the end of the cooking process.  Cook until beans are tender.  Taste and correct your seasonings. Makes about 8 servings.

Easy Lentil Chili


One evening after work last week, Bruce and I had quite the discussion on how we wanted to eat healthier meals in the New Year.  We talked about eating more vegetarian dishes and avoiding white bread, white sugar and most the most damaging thing of all, fast food.  Our conversation was not about making any resolutions, it was all about making some positive lifestyle changes.  I particularly liked that idea for I don’t believe in resolutions.  I know that when I make New Year’s resolutions, you can bet that I will break them within a few short months.

One of the challenges with cooking healthy meals in our home is finding dishes that both Bruce and I will enjoy.  For instance, I love ingredients such as kidney beans, green peas, fresh picked asparagus and mushrooms.  Bruce on the other hand, will not (knowingly) eat those foods.  He considers them taboo.  And trust me…  He has quite the list of “taboo” ingredients.  So, in order to accomplish preparing a meal that I know that Bruce will like, I sometimes have to get really creative and super stealthy.  That sometimes means chopping the forbidden ingredients into smaller pieces, not telling Bruce what he is “really” eating unless he asks and putting the focus on creating fabulous flavor profiles that distracts his attention.  In other words, out of site, out of mind is the key when preparing a dish for Bruce.

While shopping at Trader Joe’s last week I found a package of precooked lentils in the produce section of the store.  Fortunately, after about ten years of marriage, Bruce has finally warmed to the idea of eating lentils.  Unlike Bruce, I have always loved lentils and with our busy lives this precooked ingredient was something that I just had to try.  I figured that the precooked lentils would be delicious in salads or soups for lunch during the work week.  This evening, I opted to put the lentils in a quick chili for dinner.  As a result, I am glad that I did.  Bruce absolutely loved it!  And the cool part about all this was that he did not notice that he just ate a meal that was hearty, and high in fiber and iron.  And, as a final double bonus, it was vegetarian and cholesterol free!


My Easy Lentil Chili is super simple to make, incredibly flavorful and tastes great with fresh baked cornbread and a leafy green salad on the side.  Garnish my Easy Lentil Chili with some shredded cheddar cheese, a little dollop of light sour cream, a spoonful of salsa and a sprinkling of fresh chopped cilantro.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 – 17 oz. package Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils (about 2 1/2 cups, cooked)
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (or more if desired)
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 Tbs flour (whisked with 1/2 cup stock to make a slurry)
  • 2 Tbs extra dark cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbs dark chili powder
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • Top with shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, sour cream or fresh cilantro (optional)

In a medium sized pot on medium flame, cook onions in canola oil until onions are translucent. Add 1/2 package of lentils, vegetable stock, coffee, flour slurry, extra dark cocoa powder, dark chili powder, brown sugar, garlic paste, cumin, sriracha, thyme, salt and pepper.  Turn down the heat, cook uncovered on low for about 30 – 40 minutes stirring occasionally, taking care not to burn the chili.  Add remaining lentils and cook covered for an additional 15 minutes.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa and/or chopped cilantro.  Makes about 4 servings.


Fava Bean and Ham Soup


I can’t even believe it.  It’s starting to feel like autumn.  The mornings are cool and the days are getting noticeably shorter.  As I look out my kitchen window, I see that the leaves on many of the trees are starting to turn yellow and some are even beginning the fall drop.  My garden is starting to wind down and the tomatoes are slower to ripen.  With the official start of fall in a few days, the first fall frost is likely to happen later this month or early October.  Once the frost hits, my summer garden is pretty much done for the season.  After that, no more fresh picked organic tomatoes, basil, beans, cucumbers or summer squash.  Bummer…  I will have to wait until next year for the convenience of fresh picked veggies or spend big bucks at the local co-op to get my organic fresh  vegetable fix.


A bucketful of some of the last of the cherry tomato crop…  If you never have had home grown cherry tomatoes you are missing out big time.  Home grown cherry tomatoes taste so different than the ones you may find at your local store.  They are thinner skinned, juicier, sweeter and pack some hard core flavor.  One of my favorite things to do while watering my garden in the evening is to stand next to one of the cherry tomato plants and pop handfuls of these little red gems in my mouth.  They are so delicious!

While looking for some dried Lima beans at the grocery store yesterday, I ran across a bag of Bob’s Red Mill fava beans.  I’ve never cooked with fava beans before.  Fava beans looked like large Lima beans so I thought that I would give them a try.  Fortunately, the fava beans were shelled so I did not have to deal with the tedious task of shelling them myself.  All I did was to rinse them well and to pick through them to make sure that there was no debris mixed in with the beans.  I then soaked the fava beans in cold water for about 4 – 5 hours to soften them up.

My Fava Bean and Ham Soup is made with roasted tomatoes, bell pepper, celery, carrot and onion and then simmered in a good quality chicken stock with herbs and spices.  It’s a wonderfully hearty and flavorful soup that’s perfect for a cool fall day.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 cup dried fava beans (shelled, picked over and soaked at least 4 hours)
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 cup roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound ham (chopped)
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish with fresh chopped parsley

Place a large sized heavy bottomed pot or a dutch oven with a tight fitting lid on the stove.  Turn heat to medium high and add canola oil, onions, bell pepper, celery and roasted tomatoes.  Cook, stirring constantly until onions are translucent.  Add remaining ingredients, cover, and turn stove down to simmer.  Cook for 2 – 3 hours until the fava beans are tender or to your liking, stirring occasionally.  Remove bay leaf.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Makes about 4 – 6 servings.

Green Bean Tomato Salad With Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGreen Bean Tomato Salad with Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

I’ve never seen purple colored “green beans” at the grocery store before and when I saw the seeds for the Trionfo Violetto Beans in one of my seed catalogs earlier this spring, I knew that I had to grow them myself if I wanted to try them.  When it comes to planting vegetables in my little garden every year, I try to grow plants that tend to be uncommon or hard to find at the store.  As for the Trionfo Violetto beans, they certainly fit the bill…


A big handful of fresh picked Trionfo Violetto Beans.  I absolutely love the dark purple color.  What’s so interesting is that when you slice them, they have a vibrant green center.  While picking my beans one morning, I was startled to see a large purple and green dragonfly sitting on a stem in the middle of the vines.  I’ve seen dragonflies in our backyard around our koi pond but never on the garden side of the house.  This one was big!  Its wingspan was easily 4 inches across.  I did not have my glasses on so I was way closer to the dragonfly than I would have liked.  As soon as I recognized what it was, I pulled my hand slowly away from the beans (taking care not to freak out, scream at the top of my lungs and wake up the neighbors) and ran straight back into the house to grab my camera.


I was amazed that he was still there in the same spot when I got back! I was fortunate to snap a few photos before he flew away.  He was camouflaged extremely well and was very similar in color to the bean plants.  I’ve been out to the garden several times since and unfortunately I have not seen this beautiful dragonfly again.


Do you see what I mean about the Trionfo Violetto Beans?  They are really beautiful and very unusual.  What I found is that once you cook the Trionfo Violetto Beans, they turn green just like a regular green bean!

In addition to the gorgeous Trionfo Violetto Beans, I grew some Kentucky Wonder Green Beans.  The Kentucky Wonder variety of bean is similar to the type of green beans you will find at the grocery store.  They are your basic “all purpose” green bean.  You can put them in salads, cook, can, or freeze them.  They are easy to grow and produce an abundance of smooth green pods.  I have to say that for the first time growing pole beans, I was fairly successful with strong plants and a decent sized crop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGreen Bean Tomato Salad With Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

My Green Bean Tomato Salad with a Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette can be made with pretty much any variety of green bean.  In this recipe I used the Kentucky Wonder green beans and cherry tomatoes that I grew in my garden.  The Green Bean Tomato Salad With Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette is wonderfully tangy yet slightly sweet.  The bright colored tomatoes make this vibrant green bean salad a stunning side dish. It’s easy to make, fresh and delicious.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans trimmed and cut into 1″ sized pieces
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs champagne vinegar
  • 1 Tbs shallot (minced)
  • 2 tsp mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Begin by boiling a medium sized pot of water with a big pinch of salt.  Add the green beans and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender.  Don’t overcook.  If you do, your beans will look gray and not a pretty bright green.  As soon as the beans are done, immediately place them in a medium sized bowl of ice water.  The ice water stops the cooking process and cools the beans.  Remove ice cubes and drain well.  Meanwhile whisk together in a small bowl, olive oil, champagne vinegar, shallot, mirin, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.   Taste and correct your seasonings.  In a medium sized bowl lightly toss the beans and tomatoes with the Dijon vinaigrette.  Add to a serving dish and serve chilled.  Makes about 3 servings.

Bean Salad and the Little Applegate River


Yesterday morning Bruce and I took a drive to the Little Applegate River here in Southern Oregon. Bruce wanted to go on a 5 mile run along the Sterling Ditch Mine Trail.  As for me?  Oh heck to the no!  I had no interest in running. All I wanted to do was spend my morning in a leisurely fashion and exercising my camera…


While Bruce was out running along the trails, I made my way down to the Little Applegate River.  The water was ice cold and crystal clear. The trees and plants growing along the banks were green and lush.


What a lovely place to spend part of my morning. The sound of the water and the wind through the trees was so relaxing…


Across the river from where I was standing was the remnants of a gold mining operation that took place over a hundred years ago.


A branch of an Oregon Ash tree.


Bruce on his way down the trail and towards the finish line.  Once he cooled down, we hopped back into the truck and headed back home.  I needed to get back in order to make my bean salad to share at a barbecue later on that day with family and friends.

My bean salad is a riff on a bean salad recipe that my mother had jotted down in the back of an old cookbook decades ago.  I made my salad a bit simpler and left out the green beans and Worcestershire sauce.  The reason for leaving out the green beans?  The recipe called for canned green beans…  Nope.  That was not happening.  I don’t buy canned green beans.  I won’t eat them.  I can’t stand them… And as for the Worcestershire sauce.  I was out.  No big deal.

My bean salad is a simple mixture of three kinds of beans, kidney, black and chick pea.  It’s tossed with red onion, red bell pepper, parsley and a sweet red wine vinaigrette.  It’s easy, delicious and a perfect side dish for a Memorial Day barbecue.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 15 ounce can kidney beans
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans
  • 1 15 ounce can chick peas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • seasoning salt and black pepper to taste

Begin by rinsing and draining the beans.  Add to a medium sized bowl.  Add red bell pepper, red onion and parsley.  In a separate bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients to make the sweet red wine vinaigrette.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Add vinaigrette mixture to bean mixture and toss to coat.  Refrigerate covered for at least 4 hours before serving.  Makes about 6 servings.

“Stove Top” Baked Beans

“Stove Top” Baked Beans

Late yesterday afternoon Bruce and I were invited to a backyard barbecue at my sister’s home with family and friends.  We never go to somebody’s home empty handed so I offered to make some Baked Beans to share.  My sister made pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw so the Baked Beans were a perfect addition to the feast.  We socialized with friends, played bean bag toss games and competed ferociously at foos ball for hours.  We all had a wonderful time!

I had only a couple of hours to prepare the beans so I thought I’d cook them in a dutch oven on the stove rather than firing up the oven.  And I am pleased to say that the stove top method worked.  My “Stove Top” Baked Beans were delicious and I completely sold out by the end of the evening.  My Baked Beans are an interesting combination of black beans, great northern beans and little sweet aduki beans.  They are similar to a Southern Style Baked Beans but with a distinct Asian flair.  Instead of molasses, I used sweet Indonesian Soy Sauce.  I also added zesty Sriracha and floral scented Szechuan pepper for a bold and unique flavor.  These beans tasted so good that the “carnivores” in the crowd had no idea that the beans were vegan too!  Makes 12 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 – 15 ounce can black beans (drained)
  • 1 – 15 ounce can great northern beans (drained)
  • 1 – 15 ounce can aduki beans (drained)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 – 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Indonesian Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbs Sriracha sauce
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp ground Szechuan pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Begin by grabbing a dutch oven or cast iron pot with a lid.  Heat dutch oven on stove with a medium flame and add canola oil.  Add onions and cook until translucent or about 10 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, turn stove down to low and cook partially covered for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours stirring occasionally.  Add water if the beans are too thick, or remove the lid and cook longer if the mixture is too thin for your liking.  Taste and correct your seasonings and serve.  Makes 1 1/2 quarts or 12 servings of “Stove Top” Baked Beans.

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

I’ve learned that cooking good food does not always start in the kitchen.  So, every year I plant a little garden in my backyard.  I don’t have a lot of space for a big garden so my husband Bruce built me a couple of raised garden beds that I stuff with all kinds of vegetables.  We compost our kitchen scraps and yard clippings to make the soil in the little garden fertile and perfect for planting.  It’s amazing how many vegetables a little patch of earth can produce.

Since it is mid March in Southern Oregon I was able to plant snow peas, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, celery and onions.  This year instead of starting my plants from seed, I decided to buy a bunch of vegetable starts.  Planting starts allows me to harvest my vegetables a few weeks earlier than planting directly from seed.  Preparing meals with home grown fresh picked ingredients does not get much better!

Plant starts waiting to be put in the ground.

Snow Peas…

I will be picking fresh crisp snow peas in about 6 weeks!  I can’t wait!

After I planting my little spring garden I decided to make a pot of White Chicken Chili.  White Chicken Chili is hearty, flavorful and perfect for a cool spring day.  Garnish with fresh chopped red bell peppers, sharp white cheddar cheese and sliced green onions.  Serve with a slice of cornbread or a green salad.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • big pinch of salt
  • 2 – 15 ounce cans of great northern beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 4 ounce can diced roasted green chilies
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 Tbs ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried ground jalapeno
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • salt to taste

In a large sauce pan with a lid, saute the onion, bell pepper, salt and olive oil until onion is opaque.  Chop the chicken into 1 inch sized pieces.  Add the chicken to the pan and cook until a light golden color.  Add remaining ingredients, cover and cook on medium low for about half an hour or until the beans are cooked to your liking.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Garnish with shredded white cheddar cheese, diced red bell pepper, and sliced green onions.  Makes about 2 big fabulous bowls of White Chicken Chili.

Note:  Next time I make this, I am going to try it in my slow cooker.

Sloppy “Lentil” Joes

Sloppy “Lentil” Joes

I have got to tell you that a Sloppy Joe is one of the very first dishes I ever learned how to make.  A Sloppy Joe is without a doubt an American “kid friendly” sandwich.  If you never had a Sloppy Joe, it is a tasty, messy burger made with ground beef and a tangy sweet tomato sauce.  To make a Sloppy Joe, all you have to do is brown up some ground beef, add some Sloppy Joe sauce, ladle on a burger bun and there’s dinner.  Easy.

I was in the mood the other day for a Sloppy Joe sandwich and I had no ground beef stashed in the freezer.  I did not even have ground bison or turkey either.  However, I had lentils in my cupboard…  I had heard of people preparing Sloppy Joes with lentils before and I knew that when lentils are cooked they have a meaty like texture. So, I made my standard Sloppy Joe sauce and added cooked lentils instead of beef.  I tasted it and it was good!

When Bruce came home that evening, I told him that I made these for our dinner.  He gave me his me his famous dirty look and quickly reminded me that he hated beans.  I looked back at him, smiled, handed him his Sloppy “Lentil” Joe sandwich, crossed my fingers, and said “sorry hon, I forgot”.  I then watched him out of the corner of my eye while he ate the sandwich.  And get this… He looked as if he liked it!  After he was finished, he said that he thought it was really good and that he almost forgot that there were lentils in it.  I guess he’ll eat beans now  :).

My recipe for Sloppy “Lentil” Joes is easy to make, completely meatless and healthy for you.  Not to mention, they are wickedly good.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 cup brown lentils (rinsed and picked over)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp kitchen bouquet (browning sauce for color)
  • salt to taste
  • 4 to 6 whole wheat burger buns
  • garnish with pickles

Begin by cooking the lentils and water in a sauce pan on covered on medium low for about a half an hour or until the lentils are cooked to your liking.  I did not add salt to the lentils for I heard that salt toughens up the beans. Drain.  Mash lightly with potato masher.

Meanwhile, in skillet or pan, saute the onions and bell pepper in olive oil.  Cook until onions are opaque.  Add remaining ingredients except for the lentils, burger buns and pickles.  Cook on medium low, covered, for about the same amount of time as the lentils, stirring occasionally.  When the lentils are done, add to the tomato mixture, taste, and correct your seasonings.  Add water if necessary.  Ladle on warmed whole wheat burger buns, garnish with pickles and serve.  Makes 4 to 6 Sloppy “Lentil” Joes.

Red Lentil Soup with Turkey

Red Lentil Soup with Turkey

Nearly every Sunday afternoon I like to make something to pack in my lunch for my busy work week.  I figure that if I have something tasty to take with me to work, it will keep me away from eating out or hitting the fast food drive thrus.  Today I decided to make Red Lentil Soup with Turkey.

Earlier this morning I visited a newly formed food cooperative for the first time here in town.  I found some gorgeous locally grown carrots and a screaming deal on organic red lentils.   The lentils rang up at $2.39 a pound…  Generally red lentils are not exactly the easiest legume to find nor are they the cheapest.  I heard someone refer to these tasty little lentils as “designer beans”.  I say I don’t care what you call them because they taste great to me and now I know where to get them!

Red Lentils

My Red Lentil Soup with Turkey is easy to make, tastes wonderful and is good for you.  It has gorgeous red lentils, roasted turkey, bright orange carrots, onion, celery, and wonderful Moroccan spice blend called Ras El Hanout.  Don’t worry, at the bottom of the post, I have my version of the spice blend if you don’t have it in your cupboard.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 cup red lentils (picked over carefully and rinsed well)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 carrots (chopped)
  • 1 rib celery (chopped)
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 pound roasted or precooked turkey
  • 2 tsp Ras El Hanout
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • garnish with fresh chopped parsley

Pick over, wash and drain your lentils.  Set aside.  In a medium sized saucepan, over a medium flame, saute your carrots, onion, celery in canola oil until the onions are translucent.  Add the red lentils, turkey, chicken stock, garlic paste, salt and Ras El Hanout blend.  Cook covered for about 30-45 minutes.  I like to cook my soup for about 45 minutes because I like it when the lentils start to get really tender and break down.  Makes about 4 servings.

Ras El Hanout

Mix together in a small bowl the following ground spices.   Be sure to put the mixture in a tight fitting jar and store in a cool dry place.

  • 2 teaspoons each –  ginger and coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons – cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric and nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon – allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon – cloves

I reused an old spice jar for storing the Ras El Hanout.  I wrote the ingredients and ratios on the back of the jar.  That way, when I run low on the spice blend, I just read the back and mix up another batch.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Peruvian Bean Soup

Peruvian Bean Soup

I am one of those people who makes it a habit to “troll” the grocery store looking for ingredients that I have never used before to share with my family.  Yesterday I found some dried Peruvian Beans in the Latin section of my favorite store.  Peruvian beans are also known as Mayocoba Beans, Peruano Beans or Canary Beans.  Peruvian Beans are a yellowish ivory color and are similar in texture to a pinto bean when cooked.  Quite frankly, I’m surprised that I have not noticed these wonderful little beans before.  Now that I have found and tried them, I am  a complete fan.  Love them…

Peruvian Beans

Sunday afternoon is the time when I like to prepare lunches to eat during my busy workweek.  While at work, I try my best to avoid fast food during my lunch hour.   I have found that it is quicker and so much healthier to have home cooked foods prepared in advance that I can bring to work with me that I can simply toss in the microwave and heat.  No fuss with take out, tastes great and it’s even easier on my pocketbook.

My Peruvian Bean Soup is hearty, easy to make and good for you.  It is similar to a navy bean soup with ham but is a bit different for the soup is golden in color and there’s a smidge of heat from the jalapenos and cayenne pepper.  It’s really good!  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1/2 pound dried Peruvian Beans or 1 1/4 cup (soaked overnight)
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp minced jalapeno (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish with cilantro and chopped red pepper

Begin by washing and picking over the Peruvian Beans.  Soak in about 4 cups water overnight.  Rinse well before adding to the soup.  Add all  ingredients to a medium sized pot.  Cook covered until beans are tender or to your liking. My beans took about 2 1/2 hours on low.  Makes about 6 servings.