The brand I buy currently has 12 kinds of beans and makes just as delicious a soup. The last time I shopped for them, however, our store was out. Since I couldn't wait to make soup from the ham bone and meat left over from cooking brunch for 25 people the morning after our son's wedding, I settled for two 16 ounce bags of dried beans--pinto and black beans. Adjusting the recipe to more or less account for the extra beans, I made the soup you see in the photo. It definitely warmed that chilly winter evening here in North Florida--with plenty left over for another night later in the week and some to freeze for another time.
There are alternatives to soaking the beans overnight--see instructions for microwave "soaking" on the package. Or you could use a slow cooker. I like to plan ahead and rinse the beans and cover them with soaking water the night before. If the dried beans come with a so-called flavoring packet, I suggest throwing it away--who needs extra salt, MSG, and all sorts of other chemicals? The recipe makes at least 12 servings, depending on your bowl size. Hope this warms you soon.
Rich Mixed Bean Soup
20 oz. mixed dried beans (not canned)
meaty ham bone or kielbasa sausage
4 - 5 stalks celery, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
1 lb. carrots, in bite-sized chunks
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz. can tomatoes in puree
1 - 2 tsp. chili powder
juice of one lime (or equivalent from bottled lemon or lime juice)
Rinse beans and soak overnight in about 4 quarts cold water in a large soup pot (an 8 quart pot is good). Drain beans and add about 4 quarts fresh water plus the ham bone or sausage. Simmer 2 1/2 - 3 hours, stirring up from the bottom occasionally.
Add rest of ingredients and simmer about 45 minutes, stirring off and on so it doesn't stick to the pot. (You can add more water for a thinner soup if desired). Add a dash of pepper to taste (it will not need salt because of the ham bone).
Lift out ham bone or sausage, chop meat and return to pot. Enjoy!
Question of the day: What is your favorite meal in cold weather?