Mixed Bean Soup
It’s been two weeks into 2012 and I am happy to say that I am doing a fairly good job of living up to my New Year’s expectation of being less wasteful in the kitchen. Often times when I make soup from dried beans that I purchase in those little plastic bags, I have some leftover beans. So, I keep a jar in my cupboard just for that purpose. I toss the leftover dried beans into the jar and I give it a gentle shake to mix them up, taking care not to break the beans.
My little jar of mixed beans is proof that cooking a great bowl of soup is not rocket science. Every time I make my mixed bean soup, it is not exactly the same as the last time and in fact may taste a bit different than the last time I made it depending on the mixture of the beans. I say so what and who cares? The point is to use what you have, make it taste great and be less wasteful.
I bet you may be wondering what’s currently in my mixed bean jar? There are some black beans, pinto beans, brown lentils, great northern beans, split peas both green and yellow, lima beans, black eyed peas, garbanzos, and red beans. After I shot this photo, I removed 2 cups of beans from this jar for my soup and I then tossed in some Anasazi beans and lima beans for later use.
My recipe for Mixed Bean Soup is hearty, good for you and very easy to make. You can use whatever mixture of dried beans you have on hand or if you want, you could buy a more expensive premixed blend of beans. My Mixed Bean Soup has Italian style tomatoes, beef stock, onions, celery, carrots, oregano, basil, cumin, and I even tossed in a bit of leftover ham that was tucked away in my fridge. You could even make this in a slow cooker if you would like. Just toss in all the ingredients, place on low, cover, and walk away for about 8 hours. Cooking time may vary depending on the type of beans that you use. Enjoy! Tessa
- 2 cups dried mixed beans (picked over and soaked in water overnight)
- 2 quarts of beef stock (use more if desired)
- 1 – 28 ounce can of Italian style crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup celery (chopped)
- 1 cup onion (chopped)
- 1 cup carrot (chopped)
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 cup chopped ham (optional)
- salt and black pepper to taste
- garnish with fresh chopped parsley
Place all ingredients in a large pot. Cover, cook low and slow for about 2 hours or until beans are tender. Stir occasionally. Be sure to taste the soup and correct your seasonings. Dish up, garnish with parsley and serve. Makes about 8 servings. Can be frozen for later use.
Note: This is a really good recipe for busy college students. It’s easy on the wallet and you can get a few good meals out of this…