Beautiful Beans

A few weeks ago I bought a bag of Bean Soup Mix, with plans to use it during Lent. If those beans looked cheerful through the plastic bag, they more than brightened up the kitchen when released. I couldn’t stop taking their picture.

Then I washed them in the colander, and Mr. Glad said they looked like pebbles on the beach. Ah, no wonder they were captivating me. So I took their picture again.

I wanted my soup to be heavy on the vegetables, so one day I chop-chop-chopped and made colorful piles of collards, carrots, celery and several other ingredients all over the kitchen. After the beans soaked overnight and cooked a while by themselves, in went the vegetables, then some herbs and vegetable stock, and it seemed no time at all before I had my soup just the way I wanted.

It would be minestrone if it only had some tomato — that’s the one common soup ingredient I didn’t add in this case. The soup is not Asian, Tex-Mex, Italian or curried, so it will do nicely as Plain Food. We can use the break from the many spicy or highly flavored dishes I make so often. And vegetables – I think they are, dietarily speaking, my staff of life.

15 thoughts on “Beautiful Beans

  1. I'm so glad you stopped by my blog because it led me to yours. We love 15 bean soup. But I have seen more than that here on your blog. First of all, I love blogs that I can “read,” where there is much to read! And I've been reading and looking through some of your past posts, intrigued by them. And especially to see all the G.K. Chesterton quotes and posts. I've always loved the quotes by him I would find but never his books. A friend from Devon at Random Distractions that I wrote about on the post you visited, led me to order an Advent book with his writings. It just came the other day and I'm already reading it, thinking it will be fresh again when Advent comes again. I think he may be one of the great finds of my senior years. Is there a book of his that you would recommend to someone new to him?

    I'm glad I found you, and yes, like Marissa and you, I too wish I had a dish pantry, something on the order of the one I saw on t.v. that Paula Deen has would be nice!

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  2. Ah, plain food, like grandma made. I still love it, and still use her recipes.

    I'm liking the look of your bean soup. It would go beautifully with your sourdough bread..

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  3. Yum…I love beans. I think beans are meant to keep us full on simple things so our wretched little minds don't dwell on the ” lighter fare” too much. That said I love “lighter fare” also. But you're right. Simple for Lent…good and practical for keeping things in perspective!

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  4. Beautiful, GJ! I agree with Mr. Glad that they look like pebbles. A good soup is so satisfying, and I think the ability to put together a tasty successful soup is a bit of a gift. I certainly don’t have it. Did not grow up with soup very often. Good job!

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  5. Sometimes I forget how good beans can be – and this soup, I forgot to say, came out very very tasty, maybe because the beans aren't overwhelming in quantity. I don't know if it can even be called plain, it is so yummy.

    MJ, thank you for the article!

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  6. Dewena, I think my favorites of GKC, the ones that I so far have found easiest to read and ponder over, are Orthodoxy and Everlasting Man. But like you, I often find isolated quotes quite thought-provoking and easier to handle. Have fun!

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  7. I love dried beans. I love the feel of them in my hands. When the kids were young, we used beans for counting and all sorts of games. I had a jar just for “school.”

    I love to eat bean soups too. I like my plain soup with veggies and a little bit of ham or bacon. Yum. It’s supposed to be cold here tomorrow and a bean soup sounds like the perfect Sunday meal.

    ~Jody

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  8. I like this bean mix :-)…you captured its simple beauty!

    Have you tried “Harvest Grains Blend?” It has couscous, orzo, garbanzo and red quinoa, a lovely blend to look at, though less colorful than the beans. I've been enjoying cooking with this blend lately. I use my cast-iron skillet and cook the grains with chicken or beef and make a salad on the side for a wholesome savory supper.

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