Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Butt Ugly 13 Bean Soup – It’s Yummy!

Yep, you read that title correctly. Based on the title alone, I bet you just want to dig in and eat this don't you? There’s no getting around the fact that this soup will not win any beauty contests. It will, however, sweep yummy bowl awards for terrific taste. It’s gluten free, too.

A few weeks ago, while visiting Bob’s Red Mill store, I was seduced ... yes SEDUCED by all the lovely bags of beans they offered for sale.This particular bag caught my eye. Have you ever bought a bag of multi-type beans before? When I saw this, I thought it might be a great $ saver because I wouldn’t have to purchase larger quantities of individual bean bags. All that was in the bag was legumes ... no spice packet, no dehydrated this or that, no additives of any kind. While I liked that it was simply legumes, my little voice urged me to proceed with caution. I ignored my little voice. Bad, Paula. Bad, bad, bad. What can I say, I’m weak.But how could I resist them? Just look at them! As you can see, they look terrific. They looked great in the bag, but even better on my tray. Despite purchasing them from a quality company, I still manually looked over the beans just in case a pebble or two snuck into the bag during processing. No rocks in this batch. After sorting, I rinsed them thoroughly, and let them sit soak in water overnight.See the difference in size after soaking? These can’t be eaten yet though. They still require cooking.

While I really loved the concept of having multiple beans in a one-stop-shop-bag, my excitement faded once the cooking process began. First of all, since these legume babies are all different shapes and sizes, they cook at different rates. DUH! I knew it, I knew it, but I didn’t pay attention to my little voice. Get’s me in trouble EVERY time.

What happened next is simply chemistry. The beans cooked at different rates. The lentils, for example, completely disintegrated by the time the kidney beans were done. But all was not lost, the flavor is wonderful. I mean really, really good. It just looks butt ugly.In fact, when I went to take the photos, I placed a rosemary sprig on top for garnish first. My daughter told me to give it up, there was nothing I could do to make the soup look better. Little stinker. Of course, she was shoveling soup in her mouth at the time, and then requested seconds, so I choose to overlook her critique. I’ll spare you her descriptive word interpretation of the color of this soup. Of course, if you care to guess her choice of vocabulary, I won’t stop you. Hint: It also begins with a ‘b’.13 Bean Soup

2 cups dried beans, picked over, rinsed, soaked overnight, then rinsed and drained (you’ll end up with a ton of beans – don’t be fooled, most of them melt away into the broth)
3 T olive oil
1 lb smoked sauced – diced
4 carrots - diced
1 onion – diced
2 garlic cloves – minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
2 T dried parsley
1 fresh sprig rosemary
2 large sage leaves
1 can chicken broth
8 cups water
½ teaspoon black pepper
hearty shake red pepper
seasoned salt

In a large stock pot, heat the oil over med high heat. Add the sausage and sauté until browned. Add the carrots and onions, stirring up any browned bits in the pan, and sauté for about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, taking care not to burn it. Add the broth, water, thyme, ginger, parsley, rosemary, sage, black pepper, and red pepper. Cook for about 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until beans are tender. Season with seasoned salt and salt. Remove rosemary stem (the leaves will have come off) and the sage leaves. Serve hot. This is a hearty soup great for Fall weather (Of course, it's 96 here today. Hello? Why is Summer landing on the first day of Fall?)

Despite all the asthetic strikes against it, it really is absolutely delicious. Are there any foods you eat that look awful but taste great? Let’s hear about them!


Cheryl said...

OH My god read my blog from earlier this week, I visited Bobs and thought of you with all the gluten free stuff they had! I am so happy you have been there too!

Lisa said...

Love bean soup on a chilly fall night.

Marjie said...

My dearly beloved will not go within a mile of legumes, so I don't have to worry about "what this looks like"! Not to worry, something we made looks like a companion to this, and will probably earn its own publicity on Friday. It's good for your baby, too.

Cathy said...

It may not be the best looking soup, but it sure is tasty. I've bought this Red Mill blend many times and love it. If its the first day of fall I'm making soup!

noble pig said...

I think it looks good. I have always wanted to buy a bag of beans like this.

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i often get into trouble like you as i am also tempted by multi-coloured food - but beans cooked in a soup with spicy sausage can never go wrong. i have also used a bean mixture in a meal, but am always reticent to do it becos of the different cooking times involved

Mickle in NZ said...

Looks wonderful to me, only I have to be cautious with beans like these. Am sure I could eat and survive small amounts (hello Mr Freezer).

Found some celery I'd bought last week was hideously bitter, so made your yummo waldorf salad with finely sliced fennel bulb instead ... also super scrummy!

Ah - dear Paula please dream of bean recipes while I wait for the full on asparagus crop to arrive

The Blonde Duck said...

Most of the food I make is ugly but tastes good!

Bridgett said...

Food does not always cooperate in the beauty department, does it? It looks pretty darn tasty to me! I just wish it would cool down enough for me to enjoy some soup!

Pam said...

Paula, of course you knew that the lentils would cook up. You planned on them making that rich, if somewhat unattractive broth, with them! I'm craving some bean soup now!

Pam said...

I don't know what you are talking about - I think it looks FANTASTIC and pretty. There is nothing better than a tasty bean soup.

Deborah said...

As long as it tastes good, that's what matters! I've seen that package before and wondered if I should buy it!

Grace said...

i'd never call such a bean-happy creation ugly! frankly, i think the variety of differently shaped and colored beans makes it absolutely beautiful. great soup, the end. :)

Robynn's Ravings said...

Sorry, but, uh, I can't go there with you, Paula. That looks SO GOOD TO ME right now. But then, I haven't eaten since 2:30 this afternoon. And I'm always enticed by those bean bags, too. Aren't they beautiful? Thanks for the recipe. I'm READY for beans. If the doggone cooler weather would arrive it would be perfect! Mmmmm. Cornbread sounds good, too.

DayPhoto said...

That is just what I find with small beans in soup mixes. The small beans melt away, thicking the broth.

Thanks for the lovely recipe.


Anonymous said...

I went out and bought a bag of 13 Bean Soup and fed it to visiting family. It was a huge success! Thanks for the referral! (Really important to soak those beans a long time!)Nice meal for Fall.