For this recipe, you need to use a large-sized crockpot, and trust me, it will provide many meals! Well worth it.
- 1 pound of dry (picked-through) kidney beans
- 1 ham bone or a big ole chunk of salt pork or bacon
- 5 cups water or broth or red wine or any combination thereof!
- 1/2 cup various spices (you choose from: tobasco sauce, bay leaves, garlic, onion, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, marjoram, etc.)
- 2 cups miscellaneous dried vegetables (bell pepper, celery, carrots, potatoes, etc.)
- Garnish: chopped parsley, grated cheese, chopped scallions
Put the beans, pork, spices and liquid in the crockpot on low heat. Cook covered for 8-10 hours. Then check the liquid level - add more if you need, to cover the beans. If it's too liquidy, you could add a half cup of rice or pasta. Add the dried veggies (if you do it at the beginning, they'll be mush!) Cook another couple of hours - beans should be very tender. Remove bones and any bay leaves. Sometimes I thicken it up by adding 2 tablespoons of rice flour (you could use wheat flour but we're gluten-free here) and cook for another 30 minutes or so. Serve in bread bowls or regular bowls, and add garnish just before serving.
This is a really cheap dish. Sometimes we get cheap bacon end pieces for $4.99; we could use a fifth of the package for this, so $1.00 plus $1.27 for the beans, and another $2.00 for the various dried veggies and spices + nothing if you use water instead of broth = $4.27 for a big crockpot that makes 8-10 servings. Add in bread and you have a well balanced meal for around $5.00 for 8-10 people!
This soup can be made so many different ways, just by varying the beans, spices and veggies. Enjoy!
Copyright (c) 2009 VP Lawrence-Williams