many bean soup

17 12 2009

Soups are a wonderful comfort food in winter (and any other time, too, in our house). I put this one together yesterday while thinking about two conflicting foodie groups: my vegetarian friends, who are often forgotten at party food tables; and my parents, who usually bake a ham for the holidays and then have leftovers for weeks. So this recipe can be modified for the vegans and for the ham eaters. And Bebe loves it mixed with his rice cereal.

Prep note – this needs to start the night before you want to eat it, unless you use canned beans. Also, I wrote this with a slow cooker in mind but you can modify it for a stovetop pot with a thick bottom and more stirring (see notes at bottom on step #5).

Many Bean Soup

2 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
2-3 Cups smoked or baked ham (optional)
6 Cups water or vegetable bullion
1 onion
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper
3 celery stalks
2-3 garlic cloves
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp sugar
salt & pepper to taste
2 whole Bay leaves
Dried bean mix (1/4 cup of each: pearled barley, lentils, pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, lima beans, red kidney beans, green split peas, yellow split peas, black-eyed peas, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, Great Northern beans, cannelini/white kidney beans)

manybean soup - bean mix

1. Prepare bean mix. Sort through beans & remove any small stones or withered beans. Rinse well in a colander, then put in a large bowl or pot to soak. Fill with water to 2 inches above beans. Set aside and let the beans soak overnight. Drain in a colander and rinse.

2. Dice onion, bell peppers, celery, and garlic.

3. In a large pot, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add chopped ham (optional) and vegetables. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring freqently.

manybean soup - smoked ham & veggies

4. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in beans. Add spices & garlic. Mix well.

5. Add 6 Cups water or vegetable bullion. Stir. Reduce heat to low. Add Bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Add water or additional seasoning as needed.

1. For slowcooker version, put everything in your slowcooker at step #5. If you set it for 8-12 hours (ie. put it on in the morning, go to work, and eat when you come home), add an extra cup of water at the beginning. You may need another cup at the end, too. The seasoning flavor will be pretty intense at this point, so plan accordingly at the beginning.

2. Some bullion contains salt & other spices, so if you use it, adjust your other seasons accordingly. For a vegan version, omit ham (obviously), and make sure that your vegetable bullion is appropriate.

3. I used smoked ham from the grocery store. If using leftover baked ham, you may want to omit the thyme and use the same spices here that you used to bake the ham. It will keep the flavor of the soup consistent with the flavor of the meat.

4. For the bean mix, you can also use a pre-packaged mix – lots of shops and most grocery stores sell 9-, 12-, or 16-bean soup mixes.





13 responses

17 12 2009

great recipe!!! it sounds perfect for busy winter nite!

17 12 2009

Thanks! It was perfect for a crazy day of chasing Bebe and holiday craft frenzy.

17 12 2009
the mistress


17 12 2009

This is going on my weekend menu! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe

18 12 2009

You are very welcome! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

17 12 2009

Yum, I will make a note of this recipe for winter next year. Can’t wait to try it.

18 12 2009

Thanks, Jo! I am wishing that I was in your gorgeous NZ weather right now.

17 12 2009
Mary-- The Yellow Door Paperie

O my so yummy! I must make this for dinner soon. Isabel always says, “I don’t like beans” so I hope we can break her of that soon!

Hope all is well with you and yours!

18 12 2009

Oh, I fear Isabel will seriously dislike this soup. It’s all beans. But she may like the prep part (they’re so pretty). Happy holidays to you you & your lovely family!

17 12 2009

Oh my….I am a bean fiend!!!! Yum Yum Yum.

You make it sound so easy. Thank you.

18 12 2009

Very welcome – and very yum!

18 12 2009

I just made plans with a friend to get together and cook some ham and bean soup. That was before I saw your great recipe! thanks. 🙂

23 12 2009

This looks delicious – thank you for sharing!

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