Please, need help with 10 bean soup mix from Sprouts
The directions are really boring:
Soak 2 cups of 10 bean mix overnight. Drain water, put in 4 cups fresh water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Add your favorite vegetables.
I'm soaking the bean mix right now, but I'm thinking of starting with some hot Italian turkey sausage out of the casing tomorrow. Crumble that up and once it is cooked set it aside. Continue with a mirepoix, some chicken stock, add the bean mix, maybe some frozen spinach. then add the sausage back in and top with some grated pecorino romano.
My other option would be to do a mirepoix and then shred some rotisserie chicken and add some Indian spices to the chicken stock and bean mix. Maybe use the immersion blender to make it a smoother texture.
Downloaded the ingredients from the Sprouts website: Black Beans, Lentils, Green Split Peas, Pinto Beans, Small White Beans, Red Lentils, Yellow Split Peas, Pearl Barley, Small Red Beans, Adzuki Beans.
I'm open to all of your suggestions. I want something healthy that I can portion out and freeze for quick lunches at work.
IMHO, you're already on the right track. in fact, my first thought was kale and chorizo (or bacon or ham hock) with mirepoix and spices. i think it would also be great with Cajun spices and andouille. (i know you said you want "healthy," but a little goes along way with those pork products!)
i like the shredded chicken idea - it would work with everything from curry to adobo, or even a can of diced or crushed tomatoes and some dried chilis.
I did a 15-bean mix last week. I knew they were older so planned lots of extra cooking time. I tossed out the dry seasonings from the package.
I'd made some ham broth recently. So I cooked the beans in the crock pot with a couple bay leaves, several chopped onions, and a couple cloves of garlic. I wanted to keep this one simple, since I didn't know what to expect. It was terrific.
If your mix might be older, definitely plan on LOTS of extra cook time and some extra liquid. Also, I'd hold back on adding any greens or anything that you don't want to cook TOO long until you're sure the beans are well underway.
Just don't rule out keeping it simple. With some basic flavors (broth and aromatics) the beans can have a great flavor of their own.
Whatever you do, don't put the meat in at the beginning unless it's a BIG chunk of cured pork product (like a ham hock). 3.5 hours of cooking will turn anything else into mealy, flavorless mush.
I agree that you shouldn't overlook simpler preparations. That said, I've done something similar to your first idea and it's delicious. A bit of lemon zest and juice at the end will liven up the flavor a lot! :)
Thanks for the suggestions and advice. I soaked the beans overnight (they weren't old, just bought them yesterday and they have a good turnover at Sprouts), and this morning they were pretty soft.
One yellow onion, 2 carrots, 1 stalk celery & two cloves garlic, EVOO, S&P in my stock pot. Added chicken stock, beans, bay leaf and a big fresh sprig of both rosemary & thyme. Brought it to a boil and then simmered for 1 1/2 hours.
I tasted it and it was ok but rather boring. I had a bulk package of hot italian turkey sausage in the freezer so I browned that with some fennel seed. I added that to the soup with a big handful of frozen chopped spinach. Let it simmer for a while and just tasted it. The sausage & spinach were just what it needed!
I may try this again with a whole bulb of fresh fennel instead of the onion.
Funny you should mention chorizo....I'm thawing out chicken chorizo right now for paella tonight. You'd think I was cooking for an army, but I'm just by myself.