Back in November 2008, I posted an inexpensive Christmas gift idea using my homemade dried bean soup mix and gifting it in a mason jar with a cross stitched topper. I also suggested providing a recipe for making the Bean Soup.
A little over a month ago, a visitor left a comment on that post asking for the recipe as she couldn’t read the label on the jar in the photo. I e-mailed her back at the time and put on my to-do list to also write a post providing the recipe.
We’ve had a couple of cool, rainy days this week so it was the perfect time for soup making. We’re staying with our son while we wait for the next contract to start so I needed to make a trip to the bulk food store.
To make the dried bean soup mix you’ll need equal amounts of the following:
Pinto Beans, Dark Red Kidney Beans, Small Lima Beans, Great Northern Beans, Black Beans and Garbanzo Beans.
I bought all of these at Bulk Barn except the Lima beans. They didn’t have any of the small Lima beans at Bulk Barn (or anywhere else for that matter.) I ended up buying a bag of the smallest Lima beans I could find at one the local grocery stores.
One and a half cups of each yielded 2 quart jars filled right to the top plus 1/2 c extra.
Recipe for Homemade Bean Soup
Place 2 cups of the dried beans into a large bowl, add enough water so that they are covered by at least 2 inches of water and soak overnight. The next morning, drain the soaked beans and place them in a large 8 quart stock pot. Add one coarsely chopped onion, 3 to 4 stalks of chopped celery and 1 large can diced tomatoes. Add water until the pot is almost full.
I usually like to add a ham bone (leftover from baking a ham) which I remove before serving but since I didn’t have one, I made do without. As with most of my homemade soup recipes, I use what I have available.
Place the pot on the stove with the burner set to high and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow the soup to simmer for several hours until the beans are tender. The beans will absorbs quite a bit of liquid and some will cook off, so you may find that you need to add more water later in the day. Don’t add too much though as you don’t want to dilute the wonderful flavours that will have developed during the cooking process.
About 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve the soup, add 4 to 5 carrots, sliced. When the carrots are tender, the soup is ready to eat.
Ladle into bowls and enjoy!
This recipe makes approximately 8 to 10 large bowls of soup.
Please note: The carrots in the last step aren’t strictly necessary but my mother always added carrots to her bean soup and for me, it just wouldn’t be bean soup without them.