Sometimes I like playing with recipes from Fool a Carnivore to create something different. This is a new version of my Fifteen Bean Soup recipe that I’m calling Fourteen Bean Soup, because that was the number of beans in the organic mix I used today. For the record the beans were red kidney beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans, black turtle beans, great northern beans, baby white lima beans, pinto beans, mung beans, black eyed peas, French green lentils, yellow split peas, green split peas, red lentils, and green peas.
There are a few key differences between this recipe and the one in my book, although the basic principles are the same. My version in Fool a Carnivore is pureed, whereas this version maintains the texture of all the individual beans. My new version adds the tomatoes last, and also features cooked and crumbled veggie bacon strips instead of cooking the bacon strips with the beans to add flavor. We served it as a quick dinner with some delicious dark rye onion bread and a nice Tempranillo before the theater.
- 16 ounce package of organic fourteen-bean soup mix (or mix a little of this and that from what you have on hand to make 16 ounces of beans)
- 1 large piece of kombu(1)
- 1 onion, whole
- 2 carrots, peeled, but left whole
- 1 stalk celery, whole
- 3-4 shitake mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, whole
- 3 bay leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ package of MorningStar Farms Bacon Strips (about 8 strips)
- 1½ cups of canned diced tomatoes
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Soak the beans overnight, and drain off the water in the morning. (If you didn’t do this the night before, pour boiling water over your beans and let them sit covered for at least an hour.)
- Put a liner in the slow cooker. Rinse the beans and add them to the slow cooker, along with the kombu, onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms, garlic cloves, and bay leaves. Cover with water to a depth of about an inch over the top. This should take you about 6–8 minutes.
- Cover the slow cooker, set it on high for at least 8 hours (although more is OK, too, if you know you’re going to need to work late), and walk out the door without a backwards glance.
- Walk back in your home, 8-plus hours later, and be greeted with a wonderful smell. Get a slotted spoon and remove the kombu, onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms, garlic, and bay leaves.
- Remove the beans from the slow cooker and put them in a large sauce pan along with about 1 cup of the broth, the tomatoes, sea salt, and pepper. Save the remaining broth for stock.
- While the soup is cooking, cook the bacon strips on both sides until crisp and browned. Just be careful to not let them burn. Put them on a paper towel to cool, and then crumble them.
- Taste carefully and adjust seasoning, adding a bit more sea salt and pepper, or a bit more reserved broth. Sprinkle each bowl with chopped parsley and the crumbled bacon strips.
©2014 Nancy Olah. All Rights Reserved.