‘Fabulous Bean Soup’

Any day is a good day for soup. And if you add fresh bread to the mix . . .

Our Relay for Life committee sponsored a soup and bread fundraiser this week. Featured soups included tomato, chicken tortilla, vegetable beef and my Czechoslovakian cabbage. We raised more than $200. It was a nice way to celebrate Soup Month.

Recently, I solicited Herald readers to send my any good bean soup recipes. So far, I’ve received only one, but it looks pretty good. It came to me from Lorraine LeBlanc of Grand Forks. She wrote:

"If you want to try a fabulous bean soup, here’s a great recipe from Ginger Tryznka, who’s the librarian at Valley Middle School. The lentils make it creamy. Most of the beans can be found at Amazing Grains, or if you can’t find one, just leave it out. The bean mix can be packed into bags and given to friends, or buy less of each."

The soup contains about dozen kinds of beans as well as three kinds of peas and barley. Apparently, Ginger likes to purchase a pound of each ingredient, mix them and then put them in pint jars, which is what is called for in one batch of soup. I can’t wait to try some.

Here’s Ginger’s recipe, along with the list of beans and peas she uses. 

Ginger’s Fabulous Mixed Bean Soup
1 pint bean mixture
1 tablespoon salt
Water to cover bean mixture
8 cups water
1-pound ham hock (optional)
1 teaspoon ginger
1 large onion, chopped
Salt to taste
1 28-ounce can tomatoes, whole or diced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove
1 red bell pepper, chopped
Wash 1 pint of bean mixture (see list below). Cover with water. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Soak overnight. Drain beans and rinse. Put in large pot with 8 cups of fresh water, ham hock and ginger. Cover and simmer 2 hours. Add onion. Simmer another ½ hour.
Add tomatoes, lemon juice, garlic clove and red bell pepper. Remove ham hock, cut meat into small pieces and return to soup. Simmer until ready to eat.
Yield: 3 quarts.
Note: For vegan, use vegetable broth, onion, garlic, extra salt, and maybe a dash of Tabasco sauce.
Bean Mixture
For 17 pints, mix 1 pound of each: black beans, baby lima beans, navy beans, great northern beans, small red beans, kKidney beans, mung beans, barley, Anasazi beans, lentils, black-eyed peas, green split peas, yellow split peas azuki (or adjuoki) beans and pinto beans.