Mar 8, 2011

Bean Soup (again)

I realize winter is coming to an end (although by yesterday's weather you'd not have known it), but there's still enough cold left to make bean soup a good thing.

I tossed this together last night. Like most of my cooking, no recipe involved, I just start adding stuff. This takes some time, but it makes a big pot and you'll have plenty of leftovers.

1lb ground meat (I use a venison-plus-bacon-and-garlic that we love for just about anything)
1lb italian sausage, bulk or links
4c. dry beans (a mix of varieties is good, use what you like)
1qt chicken stock
2 medium onions, diced
1c. whole grain (wheat, barley, whatever)
1 can diced tomatoes
3T. minced garlic
olive oil
bay leaves

Rinse the beans well, put them in a large pot with a tablespoon of garlic, two or three bay leaves, and cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and put over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stir well, and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until tender - this can take 1-2 hours.

In a small saucepan: Add 2c. water to the 1c. of grain, a dash of salt, a teaspoon of sugar, and 1/2 tablespoon butter or olive oil. Cover, bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to low, and simmer until tender but still chewy (45-50min for wheat berries).

In a large pot: brown the meat and sausage, then add chicken stock and tomatoes. Keep over low heat, covered.

In a skillet over medium heat: saute the onion and remaining garlic in 1-2 tablespoons of butter until the onion is just turning translucent. Put approximately 1/3 of the onions in the simmering beans and the remainder with the meat.

When the beans are cooked to taste, drain and rinse them, then add to the stock and meat. Add the cooked grains without draining. Stir well.

Add 2-4 cups of water to adjust consistency to taste, add salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of thyme, cover, and simmer over low heat for 30-45 minutes.

Serve with a good crusty bread.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

I love it, but the beans don't like me anymore... sigh...