Slightly Spicy Three-Bean Soup

Lately, I’ve been all about making soup.  I’ll post some of the other recipes as soon as I have the time, but this one, co-created by my husband, is so easy to tell you about that I would have no excuse for not getting it up right away.  😉  Easy to write up, easy to make — throw stuff in the crock pot, let it make your house smell fabulous all day long!  We like the bean combination that we used, but I bet it would work with whatever dry beans you have in your cupboard.  This is also an easy and tasty way to add some whole grains, as well as legumes and veggies, to your diet.

  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup Great Northern beans
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 3 jalapenos, seeded
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • dill
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup bulgur

Put the beans in the crockpot.  Chop the carrots and celery and add them to the pot.  The jalapenos we just seeded and quartered, and we just peeled the onion and cut it into large slices.  Add those to the pot, then add the garlic and bay leaves.  We used about 1 teaspoon of dill and about 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

I recommend doing everything up to this point the night before you want to make the soup, since it’s going to need to cook most of the day.  Then, when you get up in the morning, toss in your ham bone and 8 cups of water and turn it on high for an hour.   After an hour, turn it down to low and let it cook for 9 or 10 more hours.  So, if you have to get up and go to work in the mornings, add the bone and water and turn it on first thing, then turn it down right before you leave for work.  At my house, my husband turned it on right before he left for work, and I got up and turned it down an hour later.  Anyway, after it’s cooked for another 9 or 10 hours, remove the ham bone (leave the ham that falls off the bone) and the bay leaves (if you can find them).  Turn the crock pot to its “warm” setting (if it has one) and stir in the bulgur.  This will thicken your broth to give you a nice, thick, hearty bean soup.  Give it about 30 minutes to an hour, then dig in!

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Ummy Yummy Beans

I’m not a fan of beans, in general. Recent changes in our economic circumstances have made me reevaluate them as a viable energy source. Oh, wait, no….WIC told me I had to eat them. Which was it? Heck, I don’t know, but I did make these incredibly tasty pinto beans, and that’s speaking as one who doesn’t really like beans all that much.  I promise I will start posting recipes that don’t have beans in them!

We happened to have a ham bone and some extra ham left over that I had frozen from Easter. If you don’t have that, then I recommend tossing in some bacon about halfway through.

  • 1 pound uncooked pinto beans
  • 1 onion
  • half a bell pepper, green
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes
  • half a bunch of fresh cilantro
  • seasonings (salt, pepper, Cajun spices)

After you have picked through your beans and thrown away the broken ones, place them in the bottom of your crock pot.  Slice the onion and bell pepper and add them to the beans.  Add the leftover ham (or bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces), then pour the Rotel tomatoes over that.  Chop and add the fresh tomatoes.

Chop the cilantro and discard the stems, adding only the green leaves to the pot, along with the salt, pepper, Cajun spices, and possibly just a tiny bit of rosemary.

Now cover everything with about 3-4 inches of water.  If you have to add more water, be sure it is hot, because adding cold water to already cooking beans can cause them to split.

Put the lid on and cook on low for 7-8 hours (better) or on high for 5 or 6 (still ok).  These make great burritos or a great side dish!

Thanks, cooks.com for this recipe!