by Chiots Run
I really like dried beans of all shapes and sizes. They are a great alternative to meat-centered meals, if you're trying to consume less meat. Not only are they inexpensive, they make healthy hearty warming soups in the winter and wonderful salads in the summer. I usually purchase my beans in bulk at the local health food store, but when I can find them locally I buy them up. Last year I bought a few pints of dried mixed beans at my local farmers market, they were wonderful. Sadly, I was only able to buy a few pounds, not nearly enough for all year.
A few weeks ago, I was able to find some dried beans at the Local Roots Market. They're beautiful beans. I got a pound each of "Jade", "Maxibelle", and "Dragon Tongue". I may save a few of each to plant in the garden this summer.
I decided to make a simple bean soup from the "Jade" beans. I have some bacon in the fridge, a few onions in the pantry and some dried sage that will pair wonderfully for a simple bean soup.
I usually soak beans for about 24 hours before cooking them (I add a tablespoon or two of cider vinegar to the soaking water). These beans will be on the stove all day today, simmering away into a warming winter soup. Not only is this a delicious winter meal, but it's healthy and inexpensive! (here are a few bean recipes to try)
Are beans eaten in your household? What's you're favorite way to eat them?