Throughout the year we've saved the little bits of leftover dried beans & lentils in a jar Matt has marked as "bean soup."
The jar was full so it was time to throw everything in the crock pot & whip up (well, slow cook) a hearty soup that will last us all week.
Other than precooking the vegetables & bacon this soup is pretty much hands off. Since you are slow cooking the beans there is no need to presoak them. Using different beans & lentils gives the soup different textures & flavors. The flavor of the beer really comes through in the broth so make sure to use something good. We used a Belgium blonde ale but I think a dark beer would be great too, maybe something with some smoky undertones. Serve with some crusty bread & you have a warming winter lunch or dinner.
Three B's Soup
3 slices of bacon, chopped
2 med. yellow onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb mixed beans (ours had a some lentils in it too)
12 oz beer (we used a blonde ale)
6 c water
large handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped
salt & pepper
1 T verjus or lemon juice
In a large skillet cook the bacon over medium-high heat until it starts to render its fat. Add the onion, carrots, celery & garlic. Sauté until the onions are translucent & the bacon is crispy. Drain fat if you wish, I didn't bother, & add everything to a large crock pot.
Rinse & pick through your beans then add them to the crock pot. Add the beer, water & parsley. Cover & turn crock pot to high. Let cook until the beans are tender about 4 hours.
Taste & season with salt, pepper & verjus or lemon juice.
Makes 6 - 8 servings
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