Bean soup...mmmmmm

Bean there…

I love, love, love bean soup! No one else in my family likes it, which is fine. . .more for me! A couple of times a year, I make a big 6qt slow cooker full of the stuff, figuring I’ll eat some immediately and freeze the rest; I almost never get to freeze the rest. Instead, I end up eating bean soup for breakfast and lunch and snacks for about a week!

Yesterday, I went to a grocery store I don’t visit very often. I didn’t know what I was going to have for lunch, so I stopped by their deli counter (where they sell a very limited variety of hot food) to see if I could spy anything that inspired me. Lo and behold, their Wednesday lunch special was soup beans and a corn bread muffin for $2.30! Sold!

By the time I got home, got my groceries put away, and re-heated the beans, I was pleasantly surprised. I’d been certain they would need some extra black pepper, and probably some salt and oregano. Nope. They were perfect just they way they were! And the corn bread muffin was huge.

I have a feeling I know where I’ll be going on Wednesdays from now on to pick up whatever little groceries I need, in spite of fact that it’s 10 minutes farther away than the closest grocery store. . .

I usually dice up some celery and put it in with the onions, and sometimes I add some shredded carrots too. On occasion, I’ll put in either diced tomatoes or add some V8 juice right before serving.

You smush? I don’t smush. Does everybody smush?

I don’t smush. If I thought the soup was too thin, I might be inclined to take about a cup of the soup out of the pot and hit it with the immersion blender and stir it back into the soup. Mostly, though, I like that good broth. Great for sipping, or sopping up with a nice piece of crusty buttered bread!

I do something similar to the OP, except I add butter beans, and sometimes even chick peas. And instead of the hock, I buy a ham steak and cut it up.

I just made a very nice beef barley soup using leftovers and bones from a prime rib.

Depends what kind. But for standard white navy bean soup, I’ll either take an immersion blender and give it a quick whirl (still keeping at least half the beans intact) or I’ll just smush with a masher until it’s the right consistency for my tastes.

No smushing! Unless you like a thicker broth, of course. I prefer the thinner consistency from simmering, and just scoop out excess liquid toward the end.

This may strike you all as anathema, but an actually tasty replacement for the ham hock/smoked pork chop is a package of smoked tofu, cut into half inch cubes and added to the soup. The smoked tofu is hard enough to not go completely to pieces while simmering, yet provides a very surprising amount of smoky flavor.

FWIW, I’m a committed carnivore, but I live with a vegetarian, and I do most of the cooking, so Jules’s quote from Pulp Fiction is pretty spot-on.

Now to go make some more white bean soup…

This is not anathema. This is. . .blasphemy! :smiley:

I dont smush unless i am making a deliberate potage puree, then i put it through a food mill to remove the skins

Well, this thread settled tonight’s dinner. One of the nice things about living in a city with a huge Polish population is nice, house-smoked meaty ham hocks are never far away.

I live with a vegetarian, and my substitute for smoked-meat flavor (depending on the dish) is smoked paprika. Gives a nice meat-ish smoke flavor, with no meat required.

I’ve never heard of smoked tofu. I’ll have to check the local Whole Paycheck for that.

Doubt they’ll have it. It is a surprising PITA to find, though not too expensive when you do (3-4 bucks a pound?). I go to my local Korean supermarket (H-Mart) to get it. The giant supermarket in the Hong Kong shopping mall in Houston doesn’t have it. That, or I’m looking in the wrong spot, which is highly likely. Next time I go, I’ll get the brand name for you.

Before that, I used the smoked paprika trick too—love the one from Penzey’s. The smoked tofu is notably better for soups.

I think we’ve got an H-Mart in the Denver area, and there are a few smaller Asian grocery stores that are pretty well-stocked. A brand name would be very helpful - thanks!

Smoked paprika will turn it into more of a goulash, but nothing wrong with that. As for smoked tofu: well. . .it’s just wrong on so many levels. :smiley:

Well, I just kinda bruise them up, an occasional stir and a smush with the back of the spoon after the beans are tender. It’s also dependant on the consistency of my broth… sometimes I beat em up a little bit, sometimes I don’t, if they are developing nicely. My soup is not really thick, it’s still brothy but with a bit of vicosity… I think taking some out and blending it would be too much for my particular taste, the occasional smush seems to give me the texture I am looking for.