We have run out of canned beans, which meant staring down the bags of dried beans and girding ourselves for the soaking and rinsing and cooking (I confess, I dislike the smell and it lingers in the house for hours) of the beans before they can be used in one of my bean soups or casseroles.
So in a burst of brain power, I decided to google “cooking beans in a crock pot without soaking” and found this website:
She describes exactly how to do it (unless you’re using kidney beans–they need boiling). So I picked over, rinsed and dumped half a bag of dried white beans in the crock pot. I covered them with water (about 2″ above the beans) and cooked on high for about 3-4 hours until they were done. The smell was minimal. Easy as pie!
Have you been doing this for years? (And you didn’t tell me?)
I then drained the beans (tossed out the cooking liquid) and put them back in the crock pot. I browned about a pound of pork sausage (not Italian), sauteed a chopped onion and a teaspoon of garlic. That went into the pot along with about 7 cups of chicken broth. Next came four leftover baked potatoes, peeled and cubed. Two pinches of thyme leaves. A couple of whole bay leaves.
I cooked it all afternoon and about half an hour or so before calling Banjo Man upstairs for dinner, I added a can of evaporated milk, a cup of frozen (and partially defrosted in the microwave) chopped spinach and 3 TBS of instant potato flakes (I use these a lot because I like thick soups).
This “thrown together” soup was really, really good. I think it would be easy to make it “vegan” just by eliminating the sausage and using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. The potatoes really added a nice touch, though.
These chilly gray days cry out for soup, especially hearty ones. We need comfort food–especially the kind that comes with healthy beans. I probably make a bean soup every ten days in the winter.
And this still feels like winter, despite having turned to “April” on the calendar.
Today I am going to “ZOOM” with two of my favorite people, fellow retired writers Pat and Sharon. Sharon has talked us into it and I have registered for the app. I thought–fleetingly–about showering and washing my hair for this big event at 11 AM, but the three of us agreed we wouldn’t bother.
Stay safe. Stay home. This can’t last forever.