One of the unexpected side effects of cooking more vegetarian meals is that our cupboard is now filled with half full bags of various beans and grains.
Almost every time I walk down the dried beans aisle in the grocery store I see something new I want to try: “Oh, look! Golden split peas! Cool!”
The result is every time I open my pantry, there’s an avalanche of unused dried beans and grains. So this recipe for seven bean soup is an attempt to try to use up some of these leftovers and clear out a little space.
And I have to say it turned out delicious. Because there was no smoky ham hock or bacon to give it the traditional bean soup flavor, I had to improvise with some of the various spices I have. (The spice cupboard is another place where my enthusiasm for trying new things is resulting in a traffic jam of bottles and jars).
Needless to say, this soup was super inexpensive because I already had everything to make it in house. In fact, I feel like I almost made money on this soup because I was able to clear up a little clutter.
And, other than having to soak a couple of the beans overnight, it was a cinch to assemble and having it simmering on the back burner all day was very pleasant and comforting.
I like a good bean soup in the winter time, especially when it helps me get my pantry more organized!
Seven Bean Soup
1/2 cup dried black beans
1/2 cup dried garbanzo beans
1/4 cup brown lentils
1/4 cup red lentils
1/4 cup green split peas
1/4 cup golden split peas
1/4 cup pearled barley
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion, medium dice
3 stalks celery, both ribs and leaves, medium dice
3 carrots, peeled, medium dice
2 jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed, medium dice
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1-1/2 quarts water
1 tsp Adobo seasoning
1 tsp Tony Cachere’s Creole seasoning
1 TBS Italian seasoning
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 bay leaf
1. Place black beans and garbanzos in a bowl, cover with water and soak overnight. In the morning, drain and set aside.
2. Put soup pot on the fire. When hot, add EVOO. When smoking, add onion, celery, carrot and jalapeno and cook until onions translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, black beans and garbanzos and water, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook two hours.
3. Add brown and red lentils, green and golden split peas, barley, tomatoes, Adobo, Tony’s, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, salt and black pepper. Stir together, replace cover and simmer another hour. Turn off heat and let stand about 30 minutes so most of the liquid gets absorbed.
I served this with a multi-grain bread that I made, which cleared up even more space in my pantry!
By the way, I’m aware that the lentils and split peas aren’t technically beans but legumes and that the barley is a grain. But it’s easier to call this Seven Bean Soup than it is to call it Two Beans, Four Legumes and a Grain Soup.
Have you ever made a recipe simply because you wanted to clear out some space in your kitchen? Share your story in the comments section below. And thanks for looking at my blog!