Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Dad's Bean Soup

Nostalgic nutrition! This is a soup Dad used to make quite often when I was a kid, or rather when I was in my teens. Being of American extraction, he used black-eyed peas, and I have to admit I like them a tiny bit better in this soup, but alas they are not local, being a different, frost-tender species of bean. I hadn't made this in a few years, but it was a staple when I was a poor student - thanks, Dad!

I don't always have bouillon cubes, and in that case I would throw in a tablespoon or two of miso instead. I think twice about putting cabbage in soups, as it can be a bit too dominant, but I think a little cabbage could go into this, if you wanted it and had it. If you think it is a bit thin, you could also throw in a little tomato sauce or paste. You may need to add some salt, depending on your bouillon cube (or miso). "Tin" of tomatoes is a bit vague, but it's that kind of recipe. Put in what you want. Like a lot of dried bean dishes it's a bit time-consuming to make, but not actually a whole lot of work.

8 servings
Overnight, at least - 45 minutes prep time

Dad's Bean Soup
2 cups dried navy(pea) beans
2 or 3 bay leaves
water to cover, x 2

1 large carrot
2 medium onions
4 stalks of celery
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large tin diced or crushed tomatoes
1 bouillon cube
1 teaspoon each basil, rosemary and thyme
½ teaspoon each pepper and Tabasco sauce

Cover the beans with boiling water and soak overnight. Drain, rinse and put back in the soup pot with enough fresh water to cover.

Add the bay leaves, bring to a simmer and simmer until tender.

Peel and dice the carrot. Peel and chop the onions. Chop the celery. Sauté them in the oil until soft and translucent. Add them to the soup

Add the tomatoes, with their juice, the bouillon cube and the seasonings. Simmer together for about an hour.

The soup can be served now but is better reheated the next day.

Last year at this time I made Curried Lamb Ribs. Funny thing; this years lamb ribs are sitting in the fridge, thawing out right now.

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