In-between post: SOUP!

I just made The Most Delicious Soup I’ve Ever Made and I couldn’t wait to share. So here’s an in-between blog post.

First of all, the picture:

It’s a bean soup. I have a recipe I like and usually use, but today I decided to go in a bit of a different direction with it, and boy, is it good!

I kind of half followed a recipe and half threw it together myself. So here’s the recipe, not exact but I don’t think this soup needs to be exact. Ballpark is good.

Kelly’s Bean Soup

2 cups dry soup beans
6 cups water + more if needed
Juice of two lemons
2 cans Swanson’s chicken broth
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery
1 onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
Fresh Cilantro
McCormick Perfect Pinch rotisserie chicken seasoning
StoneMill (that’s an Aldi brand) Country Herb grinder seasoning
Salt to taste
Cubed ham, if you wish

Soak the beans overnight (OR, for quick soak method: bring beans to boil for 2 minutes, then cover, remove from heat, and let sit one hour), then discard water, rinse beans, and return to pan with 6 cups of water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1.5 hours.

Now rather than give “directions,” I’m going to just tell you what I did. Note: I learned about twenty years ago that if you add lemon juice to bean soup, you counteract the “traditional effect” of the beans on your body. I have found it to be true.

I think I “simmered” the beans on too high of heat for a bit too long, because when I returned to the pan the water level was below the level of the beans. So I squeezed in the two lemons, then added two cans of chicken broth + 3 cups of water so that it looked like soup again. Then I added the can of tomatoes, the carrots, celery, onion, and chopped garlic. (NOTE: I don’t like celery or onions floating in my soup, but I wanted to flavor the broth with them, so I added them whole and fished them out when I was done cooking.) I had some cilantro wilting in my fridge so I tore off the leaves and added them. (Maybe 1/8 cup of leaves.) Then I ground in a decent size pile of Country Herb seasoning (I’ll estimate 1 tsp), sprinkled in some Rotisserie Chicken seasoning (maybe 1/4 tsp), and a generous sprinkle of sea salt.

Then let simmer for another half hour or more with the lid tilted off the pan, until the carrots and beans are soft to your preference. I added cubed cooked ham at this stage, too.

Yum! I think the secret is in the cilantro. You know how Korean soup is always so yummy when they put cilantro in there? Well, I figured why not put it into a traditional “American” soup? I definitely taste the celery, too, but it’s a fresh flavor, not overcooked.

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