Soup for Lunch

Bean Vegetable Soup (mine)

I love beans. I love most any kind of beans, but as with any food I like to know if they’re fresh, and where they come from. The heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo are fresh and clean. For my all purpose needs, I usually get the Marrow beans, but those are out of season just now, so I’ve been using Cranberry Cargamanto, a worthy substitute, lately.

My wife, Carol, does not share my pleasure in beans. Oh, she’ll eat them as a small side accompaniment to a main dish if they are disguised with greens or radicchio or some such. But I will be eating the bulk of the beans, so when I cook up a pot of beans, I need some good ideas on how I’ll be eating them.

I’ve devised a great lunch fall-back of bean and vegetable soup. It doesn’t take long to prepare and tastes really good.

Just yesterday, I was burning energy on the phone trying to straighten out my health insurance and Medicare and got pretty hungry about one o’clock. I didn’t feel much like cooking, that’s why I keep a few cans of soup on hand. But the Wolfgang Puck Chicken with Egg Noodles or Country Tomato with Basil were not appealing at the time.

Viola! I had a jar of beans in the back of the refrigerator, about two cups. My Bean Vegetable Soup is the answer.


Bean Vegetable Soup (mine)
Cook your beans in a clay pot or by another method, with a mirapoux. Store in the refrigerator in their liquor until you’re ready to use them.

For that fall-back lunch:

Take your beans out of the fridge.
Chop two slices of bacon in about 1/2 inch pieces.
Rough chop an onion — I LOVE the current spring onions (it was spring when I wrote this recipe).

Slice about an inch of celery from the top of your bunch.
Peel and slice 3 medium carrots, more or less
Cube 3 medium potatoes, more or less

Start the bacon in a bit of olive oil until it has rendered most of its fat. Add the onion and sauté until crisp tender.
Add the celery, carrots and potatoes to your pot, salt and stir.
Add enough broth to barely cover.
Cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Add the beans and bean liquor.
Add enough stock to make it soupy.
Bring to a simmer and turn off the heat. Salt and pepper to taste.

That, my friends, is a good and hearty lunch, and there will be enough for another lunch, perhaps with some noodles.

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