Saturday, September 24, 2011

How many beans does a person really need?

It is the soup season, dear readers, and here's one I whipped up recently that was hearty and very tasty! This recipe is great for the non-meat eaters in your household, and could easily be converted to a completely vegetarian soup (just leave out the turkey wing or ham hock when cooking the beans). For us carnivores, I highly recommended adding some smoked sausage or kielbasa slices to each bowl of soup before serving.

13 Bean Soup with Smoked Sausage
(Makes five quarts)

13 Bean Soup Mix (Bob's Red Mill), rinsed and soaked overnight
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 anaheim peppers, seeded and diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 bay leaves
1 smoked turkey wing
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable soup base
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
salt, to taste

1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced

Rinse the bean mix, add to the crock, and cover with about three inches of water. Soak overnight.

In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil and saute the onions, celery, peppers, and carrots until tender. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute another couple of minutes. Add the sauteed vegetables to the crock along with the bay leaves and the smoked turkey wing (or ham hock). Cook on high for about six hours.

Stir in the vegetable soup base, the diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and pepper. Cook for another couple of hours until the beans are all tender. Remove the bay leaves and turkey wing. Taste to correct seasoning.

Brown the sausage in the large skillet. Add some sausage pieces to each bowlful of soup before serving.

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