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….

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