Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Soup Beans

Soup Beans are pretty much a staple in my neck of the woods.  Though it may seem like a simple dish, everyone has their own way of making it.  I am no different.  My soup beans are bold, beefy, and packed with flavor!  You will never look at this humble dish the same way again.

Let me show you how I make it!

Soup Beans:
*Prep Time: 24 hours *Cook Time: 1 hr. 30 min. *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings:  8-12


  • 1 2lb. Bag of Pinto Beans
  • 3 Slices of Thick Cut Bacon, cubed
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 8 c. Beef Broth
  • 1/4 c. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
The night before you are going to make your beans you will want to pick through the beans to get rid of any pebbles that may be in the bag.  Then you will want to put them in a bowl and cover them with 2 inches of water.
Let the beans soak overnight.

The next day, when you are ready to make the beans, you will simply drain them.

Next you will want to dice up the bacon.

Add the bacon to a COLD pot.
Turn the heat to medium/high and let the bacon fat start to render.
I know most people throw the raw bacon in and let it go, but I do this for two reasons.
One:  I am not a fan of rubbery bacon and this gives it a nice little crust.
Two:  By rendering the fat we are adding another layer of flavor as we saute our onions and peppers.

When you hear the bacon start to sizzle, and you see a bit of the fat rendering in the pan, you will know it is time to add the onions and

Red bell pepper. The peppers are going to add some sweetness to the beans as well as a little color.
Cook until they start to soften and the onions become translucent.

Now it is time to start layering some more flavor.
Add the oregano

And garlic powder.
Let it cook for a minute or two.

 Time to add the beans to the pot.

Cover the beans with the beef stock.
I know that most people use water, but I feel the beef stock just give these an AMAZING depth of flavor.

Bring the pot of beans to a boil then reduce to a simmer.

You will see a little "pot scum" forming around the top.  I simply take a spoon and skim it off.
No one wants pot scum in their soup beans. *LOL*

Cover the pot, leaving a small vent, and simmer for one and a half hours.

Now this is my secret for what takes ordinary soup beans from good to OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD!
Balsamic Vinegar.  These beans are very rich and heavy.  The vinegar cuts through all of that and gives the beans this tangy zing that will have everyone asking "what is that?"
I am using a Walnut Balsamic that I purchased at my local kitchen store The Cook's Shop.  I am sure you can order some from them online, but regular balsamic will work just as well.

Add the vinegar to the beans, give them a little stir, and you are ready to go!

Look at that bowl!  Warm, hearty, robust, the PERFECT meal for these chilly evenings!  I like to serve mine up with some Perfect Sweet Cornbread Muffins.  If you have been turned off by the idea of soup beans in the past or just thought to yourself they didn't have enough flavor, I challenge you to give these Soup Beans a try.  You will be so glad you did!

And as always...

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,
~The Kitchen Wife~


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