Last year I created a soup quite by accident, but it turned out to be incredibly tasty and well-received. The plan was to have beans and cornbread ala Pioneer Woman. But my pinto beans, after cooking with two large beef bones all day, had created a very tasty broth, and there was a lot of it in the pot. The beans were already falling apart, there was too much liquid to boil down, and I wasn’t about to drain such liquid yumminess down the sink. So, it became Bean Soup.
Super Simple & Cheap Bean Soup
- Soak pinto beans (fill 1/4 of your pot with beans, then fill to the brim with water) overnight.
- Next day, drain, and refill with fresh water and a tablespoon or so of salt. I prefer using the crockpot, but the stove works just as well.
- Add in one or two meat bones (I used beef this time, but ham hocks are good, too; I had 2 large beef bones that were $1.50).
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for at least 2 hours, but the longer the better. Or, cook on low all day on the crockpot or on high for half the day.
- About half an hour or so before dinner, scoop out the bones onto a plate and pull of the meat, adding it back to the soup. Discard the bones and fat. Pour the broth back into the pan and add in a generous portion of beans.
- With a potato masher or a few whirs of an immersion blender, mash some of the beans, but do not puree.
This tastes quite a bit like “Bean and Bacon” canned soup, but much better and without any strange ingredients or preservatives. It made a whole stockpot full for about $2, and it was enough for two dinners and a family lunch. It freezes well, too.
A perfect peasant meal for a rainy day.
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