How to properly cook a bean mix
I recently received a soup mix of dried kidney, navy, black, blackeyed, and romano beans,as well as red and brown lentils and split peas. My past experience with dried mixed beans has included a lot of crunchy legumes (gross), which am hoping to avoid by mixing them with Nigella Lawson's slurry paste (1T flour, 1T salt, 1t b. soda) and soaking them overnight in lots and lots of water.
BUT, I'm not sure how the lentils will react to the slurry, and I suspect they'll still need less cooking than the soaked beans - which themselves will have different cooking times...any further suggestions?
I've made those mixes before--without soaking, just straight cooking, and you're right--the quicker cooking ones sort of melt into the more intact beans. I didn't think that was so bad, actually. However, if yours came with some seasoning packet, I'd suggest tossing it to the winds--usually way too salty, fake flavorings and overpowering.
I finally gave up on those bean "mixes"...just too fussy, some half raw, some overcooked & some ending up giving the soup a "muddy" color. I have tried different seasonings such as a pork hock, ham hock, sausage or bacon. This has led to different tastes that I think resulted in some beans in the mix don't lend themselves to cooking with those additions.
My experience is the dry bean mix is lovely to look at in a jar, but just too darned picky. Good luck & please don't use the seasoning packet, way too artificial tasting. Been there & done that.