Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Slow simmered red bean soup - Hearty and comforting

This soup is a satisfying combination of red beans, vegetables and meat

This soup is a satisfying combination of red beans, vegetables and meat. It gets its great flavor from smoked ham hock, fresh vegetables and herbs. It is slowly simmered which allows to develop a comforting, flavorful and delicious taste.

This soup is a satisfying combination of red beans, vegetables and meat

Did you know that red beans have one of the highest antioxidant rating of all foods? Antioxidants are necessary to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, which in turn may reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. They are also an essential source of fiber which not only keeps the digestive system health, ease digestion and prevent constipation, but shrinks the cholesterol levels, lowering the risk associated with cardiovascular disease and regulate blood sugar levels. Not to mention they are an important source of Vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper.

This soup is a satisfying combination of red beans, vegetables and meat

Canned beans are convenient, but are also often high in sodium and other additives. Therefore, always choose dry beans even if they're preparation require more time. First rinse your dry beans, removing any stones or damaged beans, then soak them overnight in cool, fresh water and the next morning the beans are ready to be cooked.

Yield: 1 pot (4l-4 quart)                                   Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

  • 450 g (1 lb) dry red beans
  • 450 g (1 lb) smoked ham hock
  • 4 quarts warm water
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 carrots, finely sliced
  • 1 parsnip. small diced
  • 2 celery sticks, finely sliced
  • 1 bell-pepper, small diced
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • basil
  • tarragon
  • thyme
  • parsley
  • salt 
  • pepper

Overnight Soak: Rinse and sort the beans. Add 6-8 cups of cold water to 1 pound of dried beans. Let stand overnight or at least 8 hours.
  1. Drain and rinse the beans. Add 6-8 cups of water to 1 pound of dried beans. Bring water to a boil, boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat and drain. 
  2. Add the drain beans to a large soup pot and add 4 quarts of warm water. Add the smoked ham hock, 1 tablespoon of salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon of minced basil leaves and thyme.
  3. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  4. Add the onions, carrots, parsnip, celery, bell-pepper and simmer for 30 more minutes.
  5. Remove the smoked ham hock  for the soup pot and cut it in small dices. Add them back to the pot.
  6. Add the tomato paste and the minced parsley and tarragon. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Simmer for 5 more minute.
  7. Remove from heat and ladle into bowls.
  8. Serve warm with freshly baked bread.

Tips and Tricks:
  • The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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