Grandma is holding R as I type, let me see if I can get this into the computer (usually I use my iPod Touch but for heavy typing it is annoying to use). . .
Here is a link to the photos I posted yesterday, I picked my favorite “in progress” shot and placed it above, I really like the shower of water drops on the drained beans. The final picture is the soup straight from the pot yesterday. E was a good helper but she is sick so she wasn’t as content as usual to be cooking. R needed attention as I was finishing prep but that is how it goes. You could do a lot of chopping the night before if your kids are better at being patient then, just put the potatoes in water to soak in the fridge after chopping so they don’t get brown. I’ve read that you should cook right after chopping (something about cell walls in veggies) but I am not sure the nutrient level goes down much, if at all.
So I like to use Bob’s Red Mill’s 13 Bean Soup Mix, I use Subscribe and save with free shipping to get it for $13.29 (you can always cancel the subscription right after or do a long schedule, I do 6 months, and when they’re about to re-ship they email you with a week of time so you can cancel/check for better prices), then divide the bag in half by weight so each portion of beans for 4 quarts of soup is $1.67. Here’s an amazon affiliate link (disclosure: I get some percentage of the sale with that link).
My friend asked for this one after her daughter enjoyed it. It makes me so happy when people enjoy what I make! This is a variation on a soup my mom made for us as kids so I dedicate my first recipe post to her. She also taught me to cook especially after I had my first baby. Thank you muttie!
With that, on with the recipe!
5 quart pot
Knife, Peeler, Cutting Board
14.5 Ounces of Dried Beans (my mix has Navy, Black, Red, Pinto, Limas, Large Limas, Garbanzo, Great Northern, Kidney Beans, Black-eyed, Yellow Split, Green Split Peas, and Lentils.)
1/2 medium onion, diced
7 ounces celery (about 3 stalks), chopped
7 ounces peeled and chopped carrots (about 6 or 7)
2 pounds russet potatoes, chopped in 2 inch chunks (you can use other kinds but the soup might not get as thick)
6 ounce can of tomato paste
3 tablespoons dried parsley (I was out of fresh)
4 teaspoons granulated garlic (out of fresh, I usually use 4 cloves, minced)
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil
2 teaspoons turmeric (no worries if you don’t have this, I love turmeric though!)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (or regular is fine, if you like a more assertive smoky flavour, use more)
1 tablespoon salt (plus to taste)
1 tablespoon pepper
4 tablespoons olive or canola oil
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
The night before, soak your beans in a big bowl covered with two inches or so of water. The next day, put your pot on the stove and heat it on medium (I have an electric stove so I use the middle setting, it should be high enough to get your oil shimmering). Chop your onions, add your oil to the pan and add onions once the oil shimmers when you tilt the pan.
While the onions fry (stirring occasionally), chop your celery, carrots, and potatoes. You can also mince your garlic now. After the onions are softening, add garlic and your spices (in the pictures I added the salt and pepper later with the potatoes but you can do what you like). Stir to mix and let everything fry for a minute.
Now add your carrots and celery, mix and fry another minute or two. I had to read Green Eggs and Ham to E at this point (she was on the counter watching) so I ended up cooking too long and needed to deglaze the pan. This is where you pour a splash or water (I use the water in my tea kettle) into the pan and stir to get the nice fried bits off the bottom. If you have a non-stick pot you won’t have to do this.
Add your potatoes and stir. Drain and rinse your beans. Add the whole can of tomato paste and stir. Now add your beans, then 4 cups of broth (the whole box if you buy it in quarts, I had E help open it, it is a nice way to give a child ownership of a meal to let them help as much as they can).
I usually don’t measure the water I add, I fill the rest of the pot with water until it hits the rivets. This time it was 3 cups. If you add more veggies or have less for some reason, you’d end up adding differing amount of water. Bring the soup to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low. I reduced it to the “warm” setting (my settings are warm, low, 3, 4, and 5) and it took 2-3 hours at this setting for the beans to be cooked. If you cook too long it is still really tasty but the beans come apart. This makes me think it would be a great crock pot recipe but I haven’t tried that yet.
Serve with a dash of lemon juice and salt (my favorite style) or with tabasco sauce (my husband likes this, though it has vinegar of a type E can’t have we keep it in the house because she doesn’t eat it, it is one of the few “unsafe” things we keep).
This served 3 adults, 1 toddler, and 1 baby (he ate a mashed potato from the pot) for dinner (with some allergy free biscuits made by my mother in law, they are so good!) and provided a container for my husband’s lunch tomorrow. It will also be lunch for the rest of us today.
As always, soup is better the second and third day.