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….