Soup days are here

Sometimes when I have no idea what to make for dinner I stand in my kitchen, hoping that after 3 glances in the fridge and 2 browses of my pantry I’ll be able to scrounge up something filling. Other times, like most New Yorkers, I head out to grab a bite. These blustery January days, however, mean that I’m too intimidated by the cold to really want to go outside very much. Or at all.

The other day I found some beans in my pantry, leftovers from my summer CSA share. Last time I tried to cook the beans in chili, they took longer than I thought I did–after four hours of cooking, they were still crunchy, even though I’d soaked them overnight! This time around I soaked them for two–one day in the fridge because I was concerned about any weird fermentation. Two still wasn’t quite enough, so I’m not really sure what’s up with these beans.

The good news about beans in soup is that you can blend the beans into soup if necessary, or if you feel like it. That’s what I did here for a chunky soup that was not quite chili. Great flavor with just a few tacky crunchy beans. T got some tortilla chips yesterday that I thought went really well with the soup.

Next time I’m going to soak those beans for a whole week!

To make this, you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups of beans (soaked sufficiently or canned)
1 carrot and 1 onion, both diced
1/2 can crushed tomatoes
3 cups chicken stock (or veggie)

1. Sautee the onions and carrots in a saucepan until softened, 5-10 minutes. Don’t forget to salt and pepper them!
2. Add the beans, the chicken stock, and tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt to taste.
3. Blend and serve.

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3 thoughts on “Soup days are here

  1. Your friend Erin referred me to your site– she and I are in AmeriCorps together, and I’m always looking for a good food blog. The recipes I’ve looked at so far look awesome… I’m REALLY excited about those cookies above, and your challah looks incredible.

    Just a bit of advice from one dry-bean enthusiast to another: I had the same problem with crunchy beans one time (ok, I confess, multiple times). What I learned from some internet research is that dry beans (even when well soaked) will completely stop cooking once they come into contact with acid– in your case, the crushed tomatoes. .. I once stayed up until 3AM trying to cook a bean dish that I had added something acidic to (I can’t remember what I was making anymore… only that it was a long, long night before I gave up and went to sleep!). Sad to say, I made the same mistake again when I made a TON of chickpea curry for about 30 people and it ended up crunchy because I added the tomatoes before the chickpeas were done cooking. Moral of the story? Cook the beans first in just water, then drain and add to your dish later. Seems like a hassle, but if you put the crockpot to work the night before, it’s not too bad. 🙂

    Also, jealous that your CSA does dry beans!

    Looking forward to reading more!

    • Hi Allison,

      Thanks for the tip!!!

      A friend of mine actually started making a red bean stew last week and when her beans turned out crunchier than she thought, I mentioned the info about acid and beans that you shared–so we’re both going to get it right next time!

      Margaret

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