The Lingering Bean

Hi! It’s been a while, eh?

I do this, I think you know by now.. I write for a while and then vanish.. and then write again. It’s just who I am and I’ve learned to accept it. Trying to force a blog schedule just doesn’t work. So I don’t.

So! What’s new… I played my ukulele in public with my classmates. That was fun. I fell and ripped the bejaysus out of my knee.. so badly that I went to urgent care. They couldn’t even stitch it, it was so shredded. That was exciting…. in the not fun way.

What else? Oh.. yeah. I’m working hard to get more veggies and beans into my diet.

I did pretty well the first week (last week). I roasted a bunch of veggies and cooked some chicken breast for lunches and honestly, I was pretty sick of that after a few days, but I totally enjoyed my breakfast, which was a kale, mushroom and garlic saute with a poached egg. (I poached the eggs in the microwave at work. I’m still working on perfecting this. Maybe Monday, the magic will happen)

Last night, while I was digging through the cabinet looking for popcorn (we’re out and I’m horrified as this never happened before) I found a bag of Rancho Gordo Christmas Lima beans lingering in the back of the cabinet.

I’ve had this bag of beans for at least three years. I’ve been unsure of what to do with them, but since I’d never tasted them before, I sort of shoved them back there.

Today, I decided it was time to change that.

I found a post on Simply Recipes about cooking beans in the pressure cooker without soaking them, which I had tried before, but most of my beans blew out.

You know what I was missing? Salt.

I should have known that.. I mean it should have occurred to me since I know that salting your beans helps them keep the structural integrity.

So, I followed those directions to the letter, but only cooked my beans for 14 minutes since they are lima beans and should require less cooking. The Instant Pot book said 12-14 minutes but since these beans were at least 3 years old, I thought they could use the extra time. I also just let them natural release… which means I turned them off and forgot about them.. for… um.. a while.

They came out perfect. I mean seriously perfect. I had a few blown out beans, but not too many, and the cooking liquid is amazing. The garlic and bay leaf were all these beans needed to make a delicious, hearty soup.

I ate a bowl for lunch, just as they were. These beans really do taste like chestnuts! I’ll be having these for lunch every day all week and I’m super excited about it.

Sausage Bean Florentine Soup

Sausage Bean Florentine

I adore warm, comforting, easy to throw together soups.  I also love stocking my freezer.  Let’s face it, cooking anything cuts into my Mario Kart time.  Sometimes, I just need a quick and hearty lunch or meal and yanking a quart of soup out of the freezer, especially one that is loaded with meat and beans is just plain awesome.

You will find the amounts of ingredients kind of nebulous.  That’s because soups, in my opinion, are really about what you like in them. I like hot and spicy and loaded full of goodies.

Start by taking your sausage out of the casings (sidebar: I usually grab them in the middle, pinch and sort of smoosh it out each side…  sort of like milking a cow.. and no I’m not going to tell you how I know how to do that) and toss it in your stockpot .. which of course you have already heated up and added oil too… Keep up.. I ramble incoherently a lot.   Also chuck your garlic and onion in there.

Sausage and Garlic and Onions OH MY!

Mmm… porky goodness

Chop the frozen spinach.. and by chop I mean beat the crap out of it while it’s in the bag.  Um.. don’t thaw it first..

Chopping Frozen Spinach

HULK SMASH!

Go ahead and dump that right in the pot there. Stir it up.

Frozen Spinach

oooh.. Frosty!

Pour in the chicken stock. Get the good stuff.

Store bought chicken stock: when you’re too lazy to make your own

Also, when you get tired of waiting for that stock to glug out of there.. just stab it.

Finger placement not indicative of actual recommendation

Don’t put your fingers like that okay? If I had an extra hand, you’d have a more accurate picture of how it should be done.. but alas, I only have two hands. Also? PHYSICS FOR THE WIN!

*ahem*

Rinse your beans.

Insert clever caption here

Add them to the pot. Add more stock if you think you need it. Heat your soup through and eat!

Freeze leftovers.

This right here is why I need to buy Wonton Soup: Best freezer Containers EVAH!

Remember kids!

Recycling makes you Sexy!

doh! import error: will fix soon!