SIMPLE 10 BEAN SOUP
In every kitchen pantry on the bottom shelf hiding behind the bread machine or George Foreman grill, there is an appliance rarely used. Yes, it’s the Crock-Pot (or slow cooker). Pull it out, dust it off and I will give you ideas on how to slow cook soup.
The beauty of slow cooking soup in a slow cooker is that it does most of the work with very little preparation. Having the time to cook after a day’s work, sit down, and have dinner with your family, is always a challenge.
But, here’s a way to do so and still have the home-cooked meal with little effort.
Beans are one of the oldest foods known to man. Archeologists in Thailand have found evidence of pea cultivation dating back to 9750 B.C.
Peas and beans, even though broad in scope are both considered part of the legume family. Beans were found in Egyptian tombs dating back some 4,000 years.
Today, there are around 18,000 legume species, but only 14 are grown for human consumption. No wonder beans were and are so important to the human diet.
Beans are the only food that fits into two groups on the USDA Food Guide Pyramid. Being both a vegetable and protein. They are high in complex carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fiber.
They are low in fat and sodium, cholesterol-free and rich in vitamins and minerals. Beans are a great part of a balanced diet. They are a natural source of folate, which studies have shown can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer. Beans can also improve glucose control in diabetes. Not to mention they’re just darn good.
This recipe for 10-bean soup has been created from years of making soup on a daily basis. Simple is always good. Years ago, my Aunt Rosemary Smith told me that making this 10-bean soup was part of a New Year’s tradition that brought good luck for the following year.
It really is as simple as adding the ingredients to the slow cooker and turning it on. If you are interested in changing to different beans or peas, this recipe also works well with split peas, lentils or navy beans.
I also encourage you to add other seasonings or vegetables. This gives you the opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind design. This recipe is delicious and comforting on a snowy evening, after the game or even after work. You come home and it’s ready. You can feel good about bringing your family to the table with a home-cooked meal instead of picking it up on the way, and it’s sure to be a hit.
What a better way to start the New Year.
SIMPLE 10 BEAN SOUP
Makes about 6 servings
1 16-oz. package of 10-bean soup mix (grab it at our store)
3 quarts cold water
1 T. garlic salt
1 T. chopped onion (dehydrated or raw)
¼ tsp. ground pepper
1 meaty ham hock (cubed ham or 4 thick-sliced bacon strips chopped into ½ inch pieces can be substituted)
TIP: Butler Meats prepackages their own variety of 10-bean soup mix as well as having the meaty ham hocks.
In a colander, rinse your beans and pick out any unwanted pieces. The beans are never prewashed as it defeats the purpose of the dehydration process before packaging. Add beans to a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Measure and add the rest of the listed ingredients. Stir, cover with the lid and place on low temp. You’re done.
Note: This recipe is made the night before and can be started before going to bed. Cooking time is between 16-24 hours. The larger the beans will be firm and tender, while the smaller ones cook down to thicken the broth. Serve with warm bread and enjoy.