Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Larry's Bean Soup

This recipe can be adjusted to fit individual tastes.

Any single bean or legume can be used, such as Pinto, Kidney, Lima, Mung, Split Pea. Or make your own mixture.

For the purposes of this recipe I used a 15-16 dried bean medley available in the “Bean” aisle of HEB, our local grocery store. It is a combination of various beans. Feeds 8-12 and ready in 8 hours by crock pot (high) or 6 hours stove top.

Measurements are not precise and should be adjusted to taste. Start with smaller quantities as you can always add more.

You will need a 4-8 quart pot to prepare this in. I used a 4 quart crock pot which was almost to small.

Main Ingredients
1lb bag of dried beans
½ to 1 cup chopped onions
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
¼  teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 cloves of garlic (crushed) or garlic powder to taste
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can of Rotel  tomatoes

If you do not want pure vegetarian add
1 lb of cubed beef steak, ham, ham hocks (bacon will work as well)

Adjust ingredients you fit your taste. I have intentionally left out salt and we prefer to add this ourselves

Ingredients (optional and definitely to taste)

1 small can of tomato paste
½ to 1 cup diced green or red bell pepper (use both if you like bell peppers)
½ to ¾ cup ketchup or BBQ sauce (to taste, start with a little)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 bottle of beer
7 Jalapenos to taste (fresh or canned)
1 teaspoon lime, lemon or apple cider vinegar if you want to cut back the sweet.


Wash beans with cold water and cover with 2-3 inches of water. They need to soak overnight (8-12 hours). I do this in the container I am cooking them in. I use the water they soaked in but some prefer to discard that and replace with fresh water.

If using meat, brown in a skillet. The size of the meat cubes depends upon taste. I like smaller pieces others may prefer larger pieces. You do not need to fully cook the beef, just get the outside brown to seal. You can substitute any meat or leave it out altogether. One of our favorites is to use cooked brisket from Smoky BBQ house in Leander. It saves the time and mess of browning. The same goes for cooked ham, smoked ham hocks etc..

Combine all of your ingredients into the pot and cover with water. I usually start with water and add beer as it cooks. The more water you use the soupier it will be. ½ to 1 inch covered cooking is my preference. If you put too much water you can boil it off.

Bring to a rapid boil if on the stove top and then high simmer (very low boil) till beans are soft (4-6 hours on stove top). 1-2 hours into the cooking remove any floating grease from the pot with a spoon). Stir frequently. If using a crock pot put on high for 8 hours.

Serve with a side of chopped raw sweet onions and fresh or pickled jalapenos for a crunch and extra kick.

This recipe is absolutely the best the next day, in fact I recommend making it the day before and let stand overnight in the refrigerator. It refrigerates and freezes well.

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