Monday, May 25, 2009

16 Bean Soup made in the Crock Pot

It's been years since I've made dry beans in a Crock Pot, so to refresh my memory, I Googled and found a really neat blog with some great instructions: A Year of CrockPotting: Cooking Dried Beans in the CrockPot.

Basing my technique on this blog's instructions, I rinsed a 1 pound bag of 16 bean soup in a collendar last night and picked out any beans that looked shrivled, cracked or just looked yucky.  I placed the beans in the crock and added enough water to cover the beans plus about 2" of water.  I scooped out any beans that floated to the top, then I just covered the crock with the lid and left the beans on the counter to soak overnight.

This morning at about 10am, I poured off the soak water and added fresh water, again enough to cover the beans plus 2" of water.  I turned the Crock Pot on high and left the beans to cook.  I checked on them about 4pm (so, 6 hours of cooking on high) and they were very soft.  At this point, I added spices since I've read that adding spices before the beans cook through will keep the beans from softening.  Instead of using the packet that comes with the 16 bean soup mix, I use my own spices.  I added the following spices.  The measurements are approximations, since I cook by taste.

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • dash or two of salt
  • dash or two of pepper
I wish I would have added the spices earlier than I did.  If I hadn't been napping, I might have checked on the beans around 2pm and added the spices then.  Don't get me wrong: the beans were so delicious, but I think the spices could have infused the beans better if they had been in longer.

I was worried that the liquid would be too watery, but it was pretty thick.  I might add less water next time as I like my bean liquid very thick.  Thick enough to spread the "soup" on a cracker, if one were so inclined.

I dashed some Tabasco Chipotle sauce on top of the beans and added a bit of shredded cheese. Yum, they were so very good!!

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