You may be thinking that I'm obsessed with dried beans these days. And you may be right. Actually, I bought this dried bean soup mix a while ago from Trader Joe's, and was waiting for bell peppers to get to a reasonable price before I made the soup. At last, today bell peppers were on sale for $2/pound at the co-op, so today was the day for soup! I don't understand why this soup, clearly made for winter, calls for bell peppers, but so it goes.
2 cups TJ's Bean and Barley Soup Mix (why the bag provides about 3 cups of soup mix I'm not sure)
64 oz vegetable broth (made mine from scratch, not sure exactly how much I ended up using)
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrot, chopped
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 can TJ's canned tomatoes (I used about 15 oz of a can of crushed tomatoes)
salt and pepper to taste
Soak beans overnight in a large pot of water, then rinse and drain. Pour 4 cups of broth into the pot with the beans. In a separate pan cook onion, celery, carrot, pepper, basil and garlic in olive oil until soft. Combine this mixture with the remaining ingredients into the bean pot and cover with more broth. Simmer covvered for about 1 hour to desired tenderness. Be sure to occasionally check liquid level and add more broth if necessary. Salt and pepper to desired taste. Makes about 8 hearty servings.
Aren't these beans beautiful?
I tried to convince Karen that the beans themselves looked lovely, even before cooking. Believe me now?
This soup is fine. Not great, not bad. Good bean and veggie soup, nothing fancy. I added a dollop of sour cream to mine, which was great. I think it took a bit more than an hour before the beans were soft -- I actually was worried for a while that they would not cook completely and I would have to fish the hard beans out of the soup, but it ended up okay in the end.