Saturday, March 2, 2013

SOUPer saturdays - crockpot four bean soup

Daniel had a project at school a couple of weeks ago.  He was asked to show in a creative way the layers of the earth.  He decided to use different varieties of beans to get the job done.  And as we stood in the aisle of the grocery store, I have to admit I was making suggestions based on what I thought would make a great recipe for the after-project party (a.k.a. supper).

So what used to be in this...

...ended up like this.  Aren't they beautiful?

I've always liked beans in any number of forms.  They're extremely versatile, filling, economical, and healthy.  But in a more traditional dry bean recipe, they can also be time-consuming.  The whole soaking process and simmering-for-hours thing...  well, I love it on a day when I can just hang around the house for a while, but it's not very practical during the week.  So, I decided to give a try with the crockpot and see what kind of time and effort it would save, hoping it would also result in an acceptable dish.  I was not disappointed.

This recipe makes a rich, thick bowl of beans, that topped with Ma's Cornbread (recipe coming) and accompanied by a glass of sweet tea, could make any true southerner swoon. 

Today, in Nashville, there's a beautiful smattering of snowflakes floating, and in our home, a fire burning.  It's the kind of day that calls for a recipe such as this.  Be warm and filled!

Happy Saturday!

Crockpot Four Bean Soup - makes a ton
  • four cups of dried beans of choice, rinsed (used here are red kidneys, lentils, split peas, and black beans)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes (San Marzano fire-roasted are fabulous for this)
  • 2-3 tbsp. steak seasoning of choice (adjust to your taste)
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
  • water to cover the beans and fill crock to about two inches from top
  • salt and pepper to taste
~ Stir all ingredients together, minus salt and pepper, and cook on low all day. 
~ Add salt and pepper to taste at the end until desired taste is achieved.

Recipe adapted from Stephanie O'Dea

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