16 Bean Soup

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Have you ever had 16 bean soup? Most often 16 bean soup has ham in it. Well let me tell you, my husband and I HATE ham. It’s so bad, on Easter we make our decision about which side of the family to visit based on who ISN’T having ham. Not sure how we ended up together, because I think we’re the only 2 people in the world I know who don’t like ham? I guess we ARE soul mates.

Anyways, a couple of years ago I decided I wanted to use the 45 bag of 16 bean soup mix I bought but was pretty distraught when I realized a lot of the recipes I found had ham in it. Not to mention, in a situation where you would have to live off your Food Storage ham maybe wouldn’t be that available. After tweaking the recipe around a number of times, I’ve found something we really like and we eat it a few times a month. Eating beans is so good for you, and this mix has such a variety of legumes in it, that it makes it so tasty, and healthy! Learn more about legumes on our BabyStep 6 Page. Also more specifically about beans here.

If you’re a little anxious about cooking dry beans, you are not alone. Read about Julie’s multiple failures with cooking beans in this post.

Alright, now that I’ve convinced you beans are good, here is the recipe:

16 Bean Soup

2 cups of soaked beans
5 cups of water
2 tsp of cumin
1/4 cup of dehydrated onions
1 tsp of garlic
1 tsp ground red pepper, or cayenne, or something spicy

Cook the beans in a pressure cooker, or in a crock pot. I use my electric pressure cooker and cook them on high pressure with natural release, for 45 minutes if I have soaked the beans for a number of hours. If I’m making a last minute meal and didn’t soak the beans, I cook them for 52 minutes. If you’re cooking the beans in a crock pot, cook on low for 6-10 hours. Do not add salt to uncooked beans – it will slow down the cooking process. Also the cooking time can vary based on how old your beans are.

When the beans are done add the following ingredients:

1 or 2 can of tomatoes blended (depends on how soupy you want it)
1 can of tomato paste, or some tomato powder to thicken it if you want it more chili substance
1 cup of salsa (I like Pace)
Salt to taste
Top with chips and cheese if you would like

Soaking Lesson Learned With a SURPRISE Discovery

So if we’re being completely honest here, I don’t always soak my beans. It’s way better to do this for digestion and other reasons, but sometimes I just forget and I’m in a pinch, and if I can throw the beans in a pressure cooker and have a meal quickly I’ll do it. Well lately, I’ve been trying to meal plan more and be on top of things and I have been soaking my beans more often. Well when I made this recipe a few months ago with soaked beans, I was totally thrown a curve ball. I opened my pressure cooker only to find a TON of water in the pot. The beans didn’t soak up the water, because they had been fully soaked before hand – duh. So I sat there – saddened – because there was so much liquid, and I figured after I added my tomatoes it would be even more of a soupy mess. I could have thrown away the liquid, but that liquid had a ton of the flavorings and spices! Well that’s when I remembered I had freeze dried tomatoes. I figured I could add the tomatoes straight in without hydrating them, and they could eat up the liquid of the soup. Well it worked AMAZINGLY! I was so happy I didn’t lose that work of making those beans and developed a new love for freeze dried tomatoes. Lessons learned…

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