a new approach to dried beans

Bean Soup -1Some months ago a food writer wrote, tongue only slightly in cheek, words to the effect of, “Shouldn’t you make use of that big bag of white beans you bought when there was nothing else on the shelf at the store?” I did and I should. Guilty as charged, your honor.

So when Terry showed me this recipe for winter white bean and Italian sausage soup and we had a cold, wet, rainy Monday in the forecast, I decided to make use of that stash.

You need to understand my relationship with dried beans. I have never been a soak-the-beans-overnight person. When I cook dried beans, which is almost always to make tostadas, I Bean Soup - 2use my old, reliable stovetop pressure cooker. This time, however, I decided to be different. I took some of my white beans and soaked them for twenty-four hours. I then cooked them on the stove for another hour. Next, I drained the beans and added the ingredients specified in the recipe. Along with the canned tomatoes and basil I put in the sausage, which I cooked in a frying pan, and the broth, using vegetable rather than chicken, something I always do. In the aftermath of the Christmas rush, the grocery store was out of frozen spinach, so I used frozen peas and corn, which I had on hand.

The result was a very tasty and hearty dinner (to which I added garlic bread), on a cold, rainy winter evening on which Tasha kept going out into the back yard and getting herself wet. (She loves Terry toweling her off.)

A small measure of comfort and pleasure in difficult and unsettling times.

Bean Soup - 3



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