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Tips for putting beans/pulses in soups(6 Posts)
Should also say like pp posters soak over night, change water, pick out any bads ones (dark if normally pale) then cooked for an hour ish until they are soft. I always do the whole bag then chuck the rest in freezer and they can be chucked in to soups or curries or defrosted for a hummus type thing. Yum!
Rachel roddy does a lovely recipe for minestrone which I used chickpeas in. Chickpeas are my favourite pulse so that's my go to. I also like pinto beans. I'd avoid darker beans incase they would spoil the soup colour. If you are making a blended soup when cooked and blended I sometimes add some chickpeas, cooked pearl barley and then savory cabbage that I had shredded, par boiled and sweated off in butter. It's a bit of faff but it could do a weeks worth of lunches, its super cheap, healthy and makes soup more of a meal without adding bread.
Dried beans are best cooked up first. If you have a freezer ( and space!) you can do a lot and freeze batches. Remember that they may double in size, so think about the pans !
Instructions on packet as it varies according to the bean. Often need soaking overnight, then change the water and boil vigorously for 10 mins and then simmer for anything from 30 mins to a hour or two
I like lentils in a carrot soup, just add a handful,per portion
And dried peas in a pea and bacon soup . Both these can be cooked from dried in the soup
I like beans more in stews and curries and chillis. Use to replace or stretch out any meat.
Also like chickpea and butter bean burgers. If you have a mixer or processor mix a tin /or 240g of each with a chopped onion, mint or mint sauce and some sweetcorn , make into rough burger shapes, then bake or fry and top with sliced cheese...halomi is my favourite . They can be hard to flip if too wet..a handful or flour can be added to the mix
Split lentils and split peas are very good in soups and particularly easy to use as they don't need pre-soaking and can just go in with everything else. They cook quickly, act as a natural thickener and if you liquidise the soup will take to that very well, leaving you with a lovely smooth soup. If you prefer to leave it as more of a broth, that works extremely well too.
For other beans, a good way in might be to make a nice thick minestrone and add some cannellini or haricot or flageolet beans. The only thing to be wary of with dried beans is that they mostly do need pre-soaking before cooking and once you start cooking certain beans have to be boiled (really boiled, not simmered) for at least 10 minutes for safety. Red kidney beans are one type that need this treatment, not sure how many others do, but I just boil them all that way to be on the safe side. Once they've boiled for the minimum time you can add them to stews and soups to finish cooking, or just cook them separately and add later.
I have lots of tins and packets of beans and pulses in my store cupboard that I really should use but they're not something I've ever really eaten (I've bought them over the months thinking that I'll get healthy and then never quite dared to use them ).
I make soup out of left over veg each week so this seems like the easiest place to start. Can anyone tell me which beans are good in soups and any tips for using them in this way (or other good uses)?
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