Sunday, January 3, 2010

What to do (or not) with those dried bean soup mixes

Okay so this post may be kind of lame: dinner out of a bag. But I am kind of pissed at dried bean mixes right now. So you all get a lame post.
We (meaning mainly Shawn) cooked a ham for Christmas. It was a butt (butt hee, hee) roast and it was awesome. We carved all the meat off of it and froze the bone. I had grand plans for soup and fitness. After we froze said ham bone we proceeded to eat like pigs for the next 2 weeks. Ugh, I feel like crap!
So with fitness and ham bone in mind I went to the grocery store and bought a 15 bean soup mix. You know, the kind that come in a bag, dried beans with a little flavor packet. That is what I bought. I was excited to kick off our new healthy eating with some wholesome and tasty soup.
So I followed the package directions. I put the beans in a large stock pot with 2 quarts of water and let them soak overnight. I let them soak more like 12 hours. Then the package said the drain the beans and cover with 2 quarts of fresh water and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.Here we get to the part of what you DO NOT do with bean soup. DO NOT do as the package says and then go off to take your Sunday afternoon nap. You will come back to your bean soup boiled dry in your Grandma's favorite, very good, stock pot. You will have to throw out said bean soup and maybe yell at your husband just a little. Babe, I'm sorry, it wasn't you it was the soup I was mad at, or maybe the nap, or maybe the smell. Burnt beans stink. Then you will have to start dinner over again on a Fast Sunday when you haven't eaten all day. Bummer.
So here is what you really need to do:

  • Cover beans with 2 quarts of water and soak overnight. That part is sound advise.
  • Rinse the beans with cold water. Several times. There is a reason for this. It cuts down on flatulence problems later on. Rinsing the beans washes off a sugar molecule which our stomachs cannot digest. That is where bean toots come from. Who knew? Thank you wikipedia, and Shawn.
  • Return beans to stock post and cover with 4 1/2 quarts fresh water. 2 quarts is not nearly enough. Dumb directions. Also add any meat you are using at this point. We added the ham bone and then were going to remove it before adding spices. It is in the garbage now. You can also use 1 lb diced ham or sausage. If you use sausage, cook it first. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer for 2-2 1/2 hours.
  • After simmer time is over, add 2 cans of stewed tomatoes, 1/2-1 c diced onion, 2 garlic cloves-minced, 1 tsp. chili powder (I added more than this), and salt and pepper to taste. I also threw in the seasoning packet from the bean mix. This is where I must confess that there were not actually any beans in my bean soup. I burnt them all up. I just happened to have a can of dried soup base mix from the LDS cannery in my basement. It had pasta, rice, and lentils in it. So no beans, but we pretended and practiced our bean toots anyway.
  • After adding seasoning, simmer soup for another 20-30 minutes. Serve hot with bread sticks, because that would be yummy. We also topped ours with Parmesan cheese because we had it and Parm makes everything taste better.
So I have rambled, but I feel much better. Here is a ingredients recap:

Bean Soup with Ham

1 bag of dried bean soup mix
1 ham bone- if you happen to have one laying around
1 lb. ham or sausage (if using sausage, fry it up)
2 can stewed tomatoes
1/2-1 c. diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Follow above directions, especially the nap part. By all means take a nap, I love naps, but not while your soup is cooking. Enjoy your soup.

By the way I got a new camera for Christmas. A Canon Rebel T1i. Doesn't it take great pictures?


Anderson said...

I'm glad your "bean" soup turned out well in the end. And just think- since you were all absolutely famished, everything probably tasted even better! :) Good advice. Thanks.

Sook said...

Looks so colorful and warm! It would be a perfect meal for a cold day like this. :)