From harvest to table ~ what's cooking now?

This blog shows where all those garden goodies I grow end up. I call this little eating area next to the stove my "chef's table" because at all the best restaurants it's a privilege to be invited to dine in the kitchen where the chef reigns supreme. So here I am "reigning" and you are all invited. :-D

Monday, January 26, 2015

15-bean soup - just missed the mark

Decided to make up a bag of that 15-bean soup mix that Hursts sent me (to replace the contaminated bag).

As usual, I soaked the beans for 20-24 hours (changing the water half-way).  

The next morning I drained the beans and rinsed them thoroughly.

Next I covered them with water - but only to cover.  Beans cook quicker in less water - has something to do with availability of soluable proteins.  The less water, the denser concentration of those proteins to get back into the beans.  

After simmering the beans for a couple of hours (as it turned out, far too less time), I added the rest of the goodies:

The obligatory bay leaf, 2 small potatoes, 3 carrots, 1/2C of hot peppers & 1/2C green pepper.  I also strained and added 1C of my frozen San Marzano tomatoes.

Then herbs & spices (garlic, marjoram, chipotle powder and 2T of lemon juice).

That simmered up until the veg were soft and the broth had picked up enough starch from them to get nice and creamy.

Mom was here so I prettied up the serving with dried parsley and some blue corn tortilla chips.

The flavor was wonderful.

The beans themselves, however, could have used more time.  See, when I would do a 'done' test I stupidly kept tasting the big beans (kidney, butterbean, pinto) and they cooked up in about 2.5 hours.  Thinking they were ALL cooked was my mistake.

Those little beans (chickpeas, black beans) were not cooked enough.  

So this reminds me why I haven't MADE 15-bean soup for a long while.  

It's because the difference in bean cooking.  I mean the lentils are done in an hour. But by the time the chickpeas, etc are done, the lentils have just about melted into mush.

From now on my bean soup will probably be just great northern or pinto.  They seem to take about the same length of time and the resulting soup would have much better texture.

Be that as it may, neither of us left anything in our bowls, nosirree.  :-D

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  1. I've noticed that about the 15 bean soup mix......some beans don't EVER seem to soften. But I do so enjoy a good homemade soup. BAD homemade soup is still WAY better than anything from Campbell's, etc.

    1. Enjoy = homemade soup! And, yep, even the 'bad' batches are better than bought.

  2. The last time I cooked black beans, they never got to the soft stage I liked. Don't know what that was about.

    You can't beat pintos and Great Northern.

    1. Old beans don't get soft either. I'm looking forward to the pintos and great northerns the next batch. Today I made split pea soup and will post about it on Wednesday.