1 PM Monday. I'm sitting here at my desk staring out the window at the snow-covered trees, wishing I had some hot soup simmering in the Crock pot. I shouldn't be thinking that this time of year. I should be out looking at flowers and planting my garden and thinking about going on vacation. But no. I'm sitting here with chilly hands and feet, and I want some hot soup! Too bad I didn't think to soak the beans last night.
But if I had remembered to soak the beans, this is what we'd be having for dinner. I've used a variety of bean combinations--usually a 9 bean mixture--but any beans will do. Adding 1/2 cup of split peas will make a thicker soup. I came up with this recipe more or less on my own, so, as always, the measurements are approximate.
Cat Master Bean Soup
2 cups mixed dried beans, soaked overnight
1/2 cup split peas (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 tsp minced garlic
6 whole cloves
1 carrot, chopped
1 pound beef stew meat
2 tsp instant beef broth (you can adjust this depending on how salty you like your soup)
1 onion, chopped and sauteed in butter or oil.
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1. Saute the chopped onion until translucent.
2. Place all ingredients in a 3 1/2 quart slow-cooker and fill with water to within 1 inch of the top. If you're using a larger pot, add enough water to cover.
3. Cook on low for about 8 hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are soft and meat is tender.
4. Share with the chilly hunk of your choice!