Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fifteen Bean Soup

This is what I woke up to today...ICK!

And so, I decided it was finally time to use this bag of dried beans I've had for months. I saw the bag in the grocery store for less than $1 and I couldn't believe the bargain. Fifteen beans for less than a buck? It's true.

I thought these dried beans were so beautiful. According to the bag, you are promised 15 of the following varieties:
  • Northern beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Large lima beans
  • Blackeyed peas
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Baby lima beans
  • Green split peas
  • Kidney beans
  • Cranberry beans
  • Small white beans
  • Pink beans
  • Small red beans
  • Yellow split peas
  • Lentils
  • Navy beans
  • White kidney beans
  • Black beans
Even though the bag also promises a "seasoning packet," I never got one - which was OK with me since I would prefer to add my own seasonings anyways. Plus the instructions tell you to add a ham bone, but who has a ham bone on hand? I certainly don't (and even if I did, I wouldn't eat it!).

When I bought this bag it was summertime so I was tempted to boil them and make some type of summer bean salad with Italian vinaigrette. But that never happened. And then this snow thing happened today and I felt the need for some comforting bean soup.

By the way...this is NOT chili. This is Fifteen Bean Soup. Although you could turn it into chili if you added the proper spices but that's not what I was going for today.

Now, I've never cooked dried beans before (other than split peas for this amazing soup), so I was a little apprehensive to mix fifteen different beans together in dried form. Especially since I HATE pre-soaking things or thinking ahead in any way. So I hatched an evil plan to use my crock pot to make this soup. Thus, this soup was invented. And it was simple and delicious - two things that are required for this blog!

Fifteen Bean Soup
1 bag 15-bean soup mix
1 onion, diced fine
1 can diced tomatoes (or 1 jar roasted tomatoes and shallots pureed!)
3 cubes vegetarian vegetable bouillon cubes
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese, to garnish

Rinse the beans, and add to crock pot with water to cover beans plus at least 2 inches. Cook on high for 1 hour. Add onion and turn heat to low and cook all day (I did 10 hours!). Then add your tomatoes (I was lucky to have a pint of pureed roasted tomatoes and shallots!) and bouillon and cook for another 15 minutes on low, or enough to heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with parmesan cheese. Enjoy with bread and wine and pretend you are a rustic French housewife.

Bon Appetit!

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