Growing your own beans to dry is easy and rewarding. For this recipe I used the last of my home-grown dried beans, a mix of varieties including Jacob’s Cattle and Tiger’s Eye, and a jar of my home-made tomatillo salsa. It is unbelievably easy to make and not only filling, but really tasty! The beans and tomatillo salsa mixed together make a soup that you can eat plain, but when you poach a couple of eggs in a portion of the soup and top it with sour cream and cheese it is even better in my opinion.
The Bean Soup
Approx 2 cups of dried beans (pinto or similar style bean recommended)
1 pint jar of home canned tomatillo salsa (store-bought if you have no home-made)
Salt to taste
Making the bean soup into a whole meal:
1.5 cups bean tomatillo soup
1 or 2 eggs
1-2 ounces jack cheese
1-2 Tbls sour cream
Method for making the soup:
Put your dried beans in a crock pot and fill the crock pot with water. I put my crock pot on high for a few hours and the beans were perfect. The cooking time will vary depending on the age and size of the dried beans. When the beans are tender pour them, liquid and all*, in a large enough sauce pan and pour your whole jar of tomatillo salsa into the beans and mix well. The salsa will have salt in it already so you should taste the bean soup before adding additional salt. I added about a teaspoon of salt to mine.
Heat the beans and tomatillo salsa up until hot. If you want a vegan dish- it’s really good plain like this. No diary. No meat. I love to add sour cream and cheese to this soup but it’s really good without any additions.
Method for poaching eggs in the soup:
To make this soup into a hearty breakfast or lunch ladle about a cup or cup and a half of it into a medium saute pan and turn the heat to medium high. With a spatula make two wells in the soup- it should be just thick enough for you to do this. Into each well crack an egg. Cover the pan and let the eggs cook until they reach the consistency you like. I like my eggs whites to be completely cooked but the yolks to be just barely cooked all the way through.
When the eggs are as done as you like them, remove them from the pan with the spatula and put them in a bowl, then pour the rest of the soup over the eggs. Top with the cheese and sour cream. That’s it.
Recipe notes: this is a protein rich meal, if you want to serve the soup with a grain instead of more protein you could serve it with corn muffins or fried or grilled polenta rounds. This soup works because the beans have a rich earthy flavor which is perfectly complemented by the salsa. Don’t be afraid to try different kinds of beans or different kinds of salsa. I came up with this recipe because I want to develop an arsenal of satisfying meals made almost completely with my pantry staples. Salsa with beans is pretty simple and two things I almost always have on my shelves. If you don’t have a crock pot for the beans use a soup pot on the stove on medium heat, add water as necessary. Obviously you can used canned or frozen beans if that’s what you have. But it is better when you make them from dried.
*If you have so much liquid that your beans are more brothy than soupy then drain some of it out. If the liquid in the beans is fairly thick then don’t drain any of it away. While cooking beans I keep my eye on them, even when they’re in a crock pot, so that I can add small amounts of water as needed so the beans cook up thick but have enough water for the beans to soak up and become tender. If you’ve never cooked dried beans before consult your all-purpose cook book and if it’s a good one it will have all the information you need to know about cooking dried beans well.
Recipe for my tomatillo salsa