Beans beans, they’re good for the heart… (By Tina)


One of my new years resolutions was to spend less time worrying about what other people think. The other was to spend more time cooking for myself. So this week, I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes with PoPville…Bean Soup. It’s healthy, it’s hearty, it’s easy to make, and for less than $10 I can make enough to feed myself for about a week. It also holds up really well in the freezer, and I think it actually tastes better after a day or two. Of all it’s benefits, for me, the best thing about this soup is that it’s something my mom used to make all the time when I was a kid. I actually didn’t care much for it until I was a little older, but even so, it seems to have some restorative properties for those days when I don’t do so well with resolution number one.

Through the years I have come to love this meal, in fact I have come to love just about any meal that includes beans. Maybe you also really like bean soup, but you don’t like to cook, or would rather spend your $10 outside of the grocery store? Or maybe you came here for a recommendation on a local business or restaurant and not some silly anecdote and a page from my personal recipe book. Whatever the reason, I know that alot of people like to hate on Dos Gringos (Perhaps a good topic for Robyn’s next installment of In Defense Of…) but I’ve found that all of their annoying quirks aside, they serve a pretty tasty bean soup over there. They actually call it Veggie Chili, and though I am hardly a chili expert, in my opinion it’s definitely more of a soup or a stew. Whatever you want to call it, it is loaded with beans and vegetables and it’s a good meal on a gloomy winter day. Much as I enjoy the Veggie Chili at this Mount Pleasant establishment, I think I prefer to stay at home, save a few bucks and make my own bean soup. But you? You can go head over to 3116 Mount Pleasant Street and get yourself a bowl of veggie chili for less than $5, or make it into a burrito for $7.

The recipe for my Bean Soup follows. I don’t think Dos Gringos will give me theirs… Continues after the jump.

1 package of Goya 16 bean soup mix

1 15oz can stewed tomatoes – dont drain
6 cups of water (you can add more if you like a thinner consistency)
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 medium sized onion)
2 or 3 celery stalks – chopped
2 or 3 carrots – chopped
3 tbps fresh chopped parsley or 3 tsp of dried parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2-3 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
3 tbsp red wine vinegar

You’ll need to soak the beans beforehand. You can leave them to soak overnight in 3 or 4 cups of water (room temp) or you can use a quick-soak method. Put the beans in a pot with 3 – 4 cups of water, bring it to a boil for about 3 minutes and then remove the pot from the heat and set it aside for 2 hours. Whichever method you use, be sure to drain and rinse the beans before you cook them.

Add everything except the vinegar and stewed tomatoes to the pot.

Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer with the pot covered for an hour and a half

Add vinegar and tomatoes and simmer for another 30 minutes.

I kind of like the plain-jane version, but you can jazz this up with whatever you like; pasta, rice, spinach, or, if you are feeling fancy – add a couple of chopped up hot dogs, turkey dogs, tofu dogs….

14 Comment

  • I’ve found the quick boil method exponentially reduces the amount of nasty poo gas. Overnight soaks tend to increase the amount of fermentation (see those bubbles on the top after the soak?), as the yeasts and sugars in the beans begin to activate, forcing you to light a match and open all the windows. Boiling seems to kill off these yeasts. Also, when you dump the beans in, some float. This indicates that air, and consequently mold, may have gotten into the bean. These should be thrown out unless your idea of a good time involves extended bathroom sessions that sound like the Battle of Midway, complete with machine guns, divebombing, and cursing.

  • I did not know that soaking the beans brings out more gas. Also I did not know the floating beans should be thrown out. Thanks for the info.
    Tina- warm memories and a hearty meal sound really nice.

  • Vonstallin

    My heart loves em…but my azz don’t 😐

  • This discussion makes me not want to make bean soup…

  • How about a nice bean pie and a copy of The Final Call?

  • Do you have any suggestions on the quick boil method for other sorts of beans? I’ve heard different beans take different amounts of time (lentils not at all), and my impression was that black beans were one of the faster to soak?

  • Err.. so you spend a lot of time worrying about what other people think, boiling beans and farting. Lovely. 😀

  • This weekend’s NYT had a link to the definitive article on how to soak beans, from a scientifically grounded nutritionist’s point of view (rather than the anecdotal stuff that litters the cooking literature):

    Cliff notes: Pour boiling water over the beans and let stand overnight (8+ hours). And if you’ve got the patience to change the water every few hours, you’ll get even better results.

  • I just want to give a shout-out to the red beans and rice at Popeyes. I’m from New Orleans, and when I don’t feel like making red beans myself, Popeyes is a great substitute!

    – Geen (who lets her beans soak overnight with no smelly side effects)

  • Hey,GforGood,Letting loose with all that gas is a wonderful release for all of those annoying people that are full of hot air.

  • Why suffer the heartache of painful, noxious flatulence? Get a bottle of Beano®! Your friends will thank you, and your poots will smell like bakery-fresh cinammon rolls!

  • An easier option for the bean soup:
    Toss all the ingredients into a crockpot and let it do the cooking.

  • I’m confused as to why you are discussing this meal option when the world knows that your calling in life is to make delicious matzo ball soup?? What gives? Possibly that receipe is too sacred. Mmmm, what about that banana bread too? So badass!

  • I love that you are using the bowl you made at my birthday party at Color me Mine! xoxo

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