Beans, beans, are good for your heart …

Posted in Recipes & Cooking, Thoughts and Reflections at 10:31 pm by admin

I called the Vet’s office today and talked to the woman I had spoken with when we found Chester. I explained the situation of Chester and Gizzie, the progress he has made in his behavior, and how his is settling in. She listened to everything I said then told me she’d like to consult with an animal behaviorist she works with to help the animals she rescues adapt to their new homes. She told me once she had some information, she’d call me back. Before we hung up, she said there was a second person she was going to call as well. I remain hopeful that we can make his adoption work.

Just after noon, I assembled the ingredients for my bean soup. I began to soak the beans this past Saturday, just as Hanna began to dump her version of rain on us. I’ll include the recipe below. In the past, I’ve soaked dried beans for a few hours in a large sauce pan and then brought them to a boil, then reduced the heat and allowed them to simmer for about 3 hours before I assemble the ingredients. The trouble with dried beans is that they remain crunchy after cooking in the crock pot for up to 12 hours. It isn’t until the second or third day that they’ve softened. I’ve used canned beans, but they literally fall apart in the soup and there’s a lot of waste when I rinse the beans until the water runs clear before I use them. I rinse them because I can’t stand the smell when I open the cans and it also helps to minimize the associated aftereffects.

Bean soup is a favorite of mine, right up there with split pea and lentil. This time I used four different dried beans, kidney, pinto, navy, and black. I usually use whatever is on hand, but I selected these varieties when I went shopping because of the unique taste and characteristics of each. I want to see how they’ll taste combined. During the first 24 hours I rinsed the beans and changed the water three times. After that, I’ve done this twice a day. I believe this will help with the aforementioned aftereffects and it will help them to soften. On a side note, if I didn’t know better I’d swear Chester has eaten beans every day since we brought him home.

3 day Bean Soup


1/2 cup each – dried kidney, pinto, navy, and black beans – soaked 2 days
1 – large onion cut into small wedges
2 – carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 – stalks celery cut into 1/2 inch pieces – include the leaves, they have the best flavor
1 – large can diced or peeled tomatoes with juice or 2 1/2 lb. tomatoes diced
2 – bay leaves
2 tsp. – fresh ground sage
1 tsp. – fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. – fresh ground lemon pepper
1 tblsp. – fresh ground sea salt
1 tblsp. – McCormick’s Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp – dried chopped rosemary
1 tsp. – ground garlic
2 tsp. – dried chopped garlic
3 hefty dashes of Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce
1/2 tsp – Old Bay Seasoning
1 tsp – dried basil
2 cups – cooked diced pork or ham
3-4 cups – water – added as needed to keep the beans submerged.


1 – 5 or 6 qt. crock pot

Start in the afternoon.

Assemble all ingredients except the meat in the crock pot and turn on high until the soup boils, about 3 hours. Reduce the heat to low for 3 hours. Alternate settings between high and low 3 hours each, except over night leave crock pot on low. DON’T LIFT THE LID TO CHECK! – YOU’LL LOSE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF HEAT AND WATER VAPOR.

Only lift the lid to add water as needed to keep the beans submerged.

The next morning, (obviously lift the lid) stir the ingredients and turn crock pot on high the remainder of the day until serving.

6 hours before serving, add the meat and stir again.

Serving Suggestions:

Prepare your favorite garden salad and select your favorite dressing.

Get yourself a nice loaf of crusty bread. Slice bread into 1 inch thick pieces. Drizzle with olive oil or spread with butter. Sprinkle with garlic powder and place in toaster oven until the garlic bubbles and the bread begins to brown.

Serve the soup steaming hot with your salad and garlic bread.



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