That two soup day…..happy fall!

So on Sunday I soaked a pound of a 15 bean mix to get them ready to make soup. And I thawed a roast, not entirely with a plan, but thawed it nonetheless. Monday I got to work on my bean soup early, because beans need a long time to soften to the consistency my man likes. Have I mentioned that soup is Barry’s favorite go-to food? Mix that with his love affair with beans and bean soup is the height of good eats for him.

Now to it….I seasoned, braised and put my roast in a pot with a box of stock and a can of crushed tomatoes. I put that in the oven on 300 for an hour, then lowered it to 250 for another four.

So PART ONE: 15 BEAN SOUP

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To make the bean soup flavorful I did this….

While preparing the soup pot I put the beans in a pot with enough water to cover them well. These came to a boil and I set them aside to drain and cool a bit.

In my soup pot I sautéed one diced onion in some oil. I tend to use olive oil, but for this I used canola. A pinch of salt got them going. Then I added …. Wait for it ….. four teaspoons of minced garlic. and a cup of diced ham. It sounds like a lot of garlic, but trust me you won’t find the soup garlicky, just flavorful. When the onion is soft and translucent, put the beans in the pot, cover with water, and stir. Then add a 15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, juice and all. Then a box of stock. I used veggie stock, but you could use chicken.

To season, I didn’t measure, but I added a healthy pinch of salt, several grinds of freshly ground black pepper (about six), and two bay leaves. Stir. Cover. Bring to a boil. Stir. Lower the heat to medium for an hour or so. Stir. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer for hours. I mean hours. Bean soup likes attention so make it when you can be home all day and stir often.

Trust me it is delish! Oh, you can add parsley towards the end….or basil, or both.  And for goodness sake, remove the bay leaves before eating. Remember any kitchen magic should be tailored to your taste, or that of the person you are cooking for. Barry had a bowl for supper, and went quietly to the kitchen and helped himself to another bowl. It’s a keeper. It also made great planned leftovers. He ate it Tuesday again and I put the rest in the freezer today for another day.

PART TWO: BEEF VEGGIE SOUP

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Yup. I decided to make soup with the slow cooked roast. Now you might wonder why, but listen, with just us two, a lovely roast on sale makes amazing soup and a huge pot. It will be dinner for at least three nights. So here goes….

When the bean soup was well on it’s way and the smell of the roast was filling the house, I took it out and put it on my board to rest. I actually used to laugh at that. But when, against my ‘better judgement’ I tried it, I realized oh my, it keeps the juices from going everywhere and makes the meat better. Yeah.

So let your roast rest….say that three times fast! LOL

The beef soup was simpler to throw together. I started again with a diced onion, oil, and a pinch of salt. Because Barry loves pepper I added that too. When they were softened I put two boxes of stock in the pot. I seasoned with parsley, pepper and oddly enough, oregano. I have found this to be a flavor Barry likes and gives a bite he enjoys. Bring this to a boil, then lower to medium to simmer a bit.

I cut the beef into healthy bite sized chunks and added those. After a bit, I threw in a fistful of pastina. You could use any tiny pasta. Now for the last veggie….corn. Yup. Tradition used to make me put peas and carrots in, canned ones. But not anymore. I am all about fresh, and all about what tastes good to us. Corn it is! I pulled out a small bag of my fresh frozen corn and added that.

At this point I would add potatoes. But here’s the thing. This soup was made to eat later and I intended to freeze most if not all of it. So I left the potatoes out. They just don’t freeze well. They get a weird consistency after they’ve been frozen. So two helpings of potatoless soup are in the freezer. A third of it will be Thursday dinner, when I will cook it up and add potatoes. Yum.

A good day in the kitchen. Two pots of soup to welcome in the fall. Try either one. Oh and the bean soup can be thrown in a crock pot for the day! Either way you make it! ENJOY!!!

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