This year we grew enough beans to dry and sell at the winter markets. We have Pinto, Great Northern, Kidney and some Bumble Bee. We also have a soup mix which includes the Pinto, Great Northern, Kidney, Purple Bean, Green Pea, and Bumble Bee.
We enjoyed bean soup this week for lunch.
This is what I did:
Sort through and rinse beans. Cover the beans/peas with cold water in a large sauce pan or small stock pot with water (good time to skim off any floating debris missed during washing). The traditional method is to soak overnight and then drain off the soaking water. If you want them right away, you should rinse them and cover with a couple inches cold water, bring to low simmer and then turn off heat. Let rest an hour, pour off water and your beans are ready for any recipe.
After beans/peas are soaked, pour off water and then cover with water. Add two bay leaves, several grinds of pepper, one onion chunked, one clove of garlic minced, and a 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used French seasoned sea salt). Bring to simmer and cook 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours. Add 2-4 carrots, diced (depending on size), and 2 stalks of celery diced, and 8-16 oz canned tomatoes (stewed, diced, whole, etc – mine are somewhat chopped and packed in 15 oz jars). Cook for another hour, checking seasoning before serving.
Naturally, any soup recipe you would make with beans would work. I love a ham bone cooked with the beans, or sliced chorizo or smoked turkey added at the end. Kale is always good. So, there’s all sorts of ways to have fun with beans!