December 22, 2010

15 Bean Soup

15 bean soup...I love it!
It's very hearty and full of protein and potassium!
Add some nice chunks of salty ham...and you've got yourself the classic comfort food!

Just what kinds of beans are we talking about here?
Well, here's the list!

3)large lima
6)baby lima
8)cranberry bean
9)small white
10)pink bean
11)small red
14)white kidney
15)black bean
*also included in the soup are green split peas and yellow split peas

You may be wondering how you are going to gather up all of these beans!
Don't you's already been done for you!

Look no further than your local grocery store. You'll find nice little package loaded with a plethora of different beans...all different shapes, sizes and colors! I have also found packages like this in the dried soup mix section as well.

I love to add ham to my bean soup. I like to buy this little package of ham cubes. Ham steaks work well too, you just have to cut them up.

On the back of the package of beans, you will find the cooking instructions for making this very tasty soup.

To get started, you'll want to prepare your beans by soaking them in water overnight or first thing in the morning for 8 hours.

After 8 hours your beans will look something like this...a little bloated, swelled up and some will be split.

Next, drain the beans.

Put the beans back in the pot and add 2 quarts of water.

Bring beans to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer.
At this point, add the ham to beans.

Simmer uncovered, on low heat, for 2 hours.

*Tip* Please keep an eye on your beans while waiting to boil.'ll find your pot quickly boiling over and a layer of bean scum all around the edges of your pot. I, of course, have let my beans boil over each time I have made this! I swear the next time I will not let this happen again...but that remains to be seen!

One very important thing I want to tell you!! While your beans are cooking, the water will look very murky and kinda grey.

Please do not be scared! This is very normal. The beans are beginning to soften and break down and all of the colors are coming together creating this strange color. I promise you...after about 2 hours it will all come together beautifully!

When 30 minutes of cooking time remains, throw in a big handful of diced onion, 2cloves of diced garlic, one 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes, 1 tsp. chili powder and the juice of 1 lemon. If you have bottled lemon, this will work fine as well...just a splash.

Ladle a nice big scoop of bean soup into a bowl, sprinkle with some salt to bring out the flavors and enjoy. Of course this soup goes well with a nice hunk of buttered rustic bread.

Oh man! Delicious!