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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2005 11:11 pm 
I tried another soup today, despite already having enough borscht on hand to feed a small army. Soups are fairly easy to make in quantity, and usually store well frozen. This one was rather less successful, but at least I can eat it... and I'd better eat it, 'cos there's a helluva lot of it...

Too Many Damned Beans Soup with Vegetables #1
1 cup each dark kidney, navy, canelli, garbanzo, fava, pinto, black, lima and speckled beans
1 cup each red, green and french lentils
1 cup each black eye and green split peas
1 cup fresh whole green peas
1 cup broccoli
1 cup kernel corn
1 cup mixed vegetables
1 medium onion, half diced and half sliced into short-to-medium strips
1 medium potato, cubed
1 jalepeno pepper, finely diced
1 red chili pepper, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 tbsp mushroom soup base
3 tsp onion powder
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground sage
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Add the dried beans into a stock pot (8 qt). Fill with water, mix the beans, the drain; repeat twice to wash the beans. Drain beans in collander, then return to stock pot. Top with water and add salt. Put on med high heat until boiling, then reduce heat to me and simmer covered, stirring often. After 1 1/2 hours, cut and add vegetables, stock base, and spices. Simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours, stirring frequently.

This was waaay too much. It filled the pot to the edge, and the beans still took forever to soak, especially the favas. I like thick soups, but this was ridiculous; the lentils and split peas tended to sink to the bottom in a thick muck, leaving a thin layer of water and lighter beans above them - even stirring did little for this, and if left without stirring for more than a few minutes it would start to set as concrete. The beans, not surprisingly, dominated the soup; the veggies were hardly noticable except for the onion.

For the next experiment (unless I have a pot at least 1 quart larger), I will halve the amounts for the beans and double the amounts for the vegetables. I can tweak it from there later. I may use only one type of lentils next time, as they all seem to dissolve into mud in more or less the same way when cooked together. When finally finished (and even then some of the beans are a little stiffer than they should be) it measured out to an astonishing 30 cups (8 1/2 quarts - from a pot rated at 8 quarts). And even at that, I'll almost certainly thin it out before eating (which I did this time).

As for Weight Watcher points... the lima beans and speckled beans were frozen, so they were 2 + 4 = 6. The other beans and the lentils were dry, so assuming that 1 cup dry = 2 cups wet (a low figure, if anything), and 2 points per half cup, then 1 get 8pts x 9 = 72. Split peas are the same as the dry beans, so 8 pts for those; the black-eye peas a 1 pt per half cup cooked, so 4 pts. The green peas and corn are 2 pts each, for 4 total. The potato is 3pts. The mushroom base, broccoli, fresh peppers, garlic and mixed veggies are all freebies, as is the onion (since it is less than one cup). The total for the pot is thus

6 + 72 + 8 + 4 + 4 + 3 = 97 points / 30 cups = approximately 3 points per cup.

That's actually not bad, but it's not great, either

As for the taste, well, even thinned out with a cup of water, it's damn thick, and the color is a murky black a murky black. The aroma is valugely vegetal. The taste of the beans themselves dominates; the spices and vegetables are hardly noticable, except the occasional larger bit of onion or potato. The overall flavor is acceptable, if a quite bland. The consistency if stiff, as some of the beans are definitely undercooked. Still, it's not a total loss, even if it does sit in my stomach like a lump of lead... note to self: two cups is too much. 1 cup soup plus 1 of water should more than enough.

Live and learn. Between this and the borscht, I've got at least two months worth of soup meals.

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 9:48 pm 
That is a lot of soup. I am not that big a fan of the broccoli myself; I would probably cut that out and double up on the corn or potatoes to combat the beans. Actually, I might just double up on everything and take out the Lima, Fava and Navy beans. Also, I would add more JalapeƱo so that you can actually taste it, and of course toss in some more chili. I would say make it green, but I would have to try a smaller batch first to see if it really fits.

Speaking of soups, I need to get my families Absolutely Delicious Beef Soup up on the site. I can make a pot of that and eat it all week. It not only stores well, it fills you up quick.

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