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18 November 2008

Bean Soup! Help me quick before I ruin more food! [More:] It's 7:20 am eastern. I've got to go in about 20 minutes, maybe 25.

So I soaked assorted dried beans overnight in preparation for soup making. But I won't actually cook the soup till tonight. Should I continue soaking the beans today, or drain now and set aside?

I don't want to leave a crock pot on all day, and I also don't yet have any potential meat or onions or anything.

Assuming I don't ruin the dang beans, further tips on prep are welcome.
I believe it's OK to soak for a whole 24 hours: in any case I have done this a few times without ill-effects.
posted by misteraitch 18 November | 07:34
Thanks misteraitch, I'm going with that.
posted by rainbaby 18 November | 07:45
I'd like some potential meat, please.
posted by taz 18 November | 09:07
Oh taz, there is always potential meat, you just gotta know where to look. But seriously, I don't know that I can bring myself to buy a ham hock or even a ham bone. I don't really want to do processed bologna-ey kielbasa, either. If I go no meat, what do I do, onions in olive oil and spices to add fat? I have a good organic low sodium chicken stock product, and an unknown quality beef stock product.
posted by rainbaby 18 November | 09:37
Yes, it's ok to soak them. If you want/have time, you might change the water. As far as prep goes, I'm a fan of onions, garlic, bay leaf, and pepper with beans. YUM! Also, toss in the chicken stock when you drain them again before cooking. Don't salt until they're almost done, because beans can soak up a lot of salt, and before you know it, it's saltier than the dead sea during a 1000 year drought.

YUM! I'm hungry.
posted by Stewriffic 18 November | 10:04
Olive oil and aromatics are perfectly fine as a soup starter if you can't deal with bones. The chicken stock will be great.

Another solution I use for meat flavoring is to get some sausage - Italian sausage or, more likely, sage breakfast sausage. You can saute that and crumble it up to form your fat base for sauteing the onions, garlic, and herbs. It's not too gross, and it lends a lot of nice flavor.

Another tip: I'm not sure what sort of end-product bean soup you're going for, but if it's one of the variations of 6-, 9-, 16-bean soup (or whatever), a great trick is to remove a cupful of beans and liquid before you serve it, puree it, and return it to the pot. Makes it thicker and creamier.
posted by Miko 18 November | 10:07
The continued soaking is fine, but I'd continue that soaking in the fridge. They can start to ferment if left at room temp for more than 8 hours.
posted by mudpuppie 18 November | 11:06
oh. And how would I know if frementation has begun? Smell I guess? Are the unrefegerated beans (67-ish degrees) doomed?

posted by rainbaby 18 November | 12:37
Metachat: overthinking a bowl of beans

I couldn't resist.
posted by Hugh Janus 18 November | 12:47
Thanks Hugh! I've been thinking that from the time I posted, actually. He he. Remind me next time to stop with the "frugal cooking" and just go to the damn salad bar, ok?
posted by rainbaby 18 November | 12:55
Smell and bubbles. Smell and bubbles. As with so many things in life, smell and bubbles are the first signs of impending doom.
posted by mudpuppie 18 November | 13:01
*lights a candle and maintains a vigil for rainbaby's beans*
posted by danf 18 November | 13:54
It worked. Miko, I did the sage breakfast sausage, and it wasn't scary at all. Thanks!
posted by rainbaby 19 November | 06:56
Ordinarily, spiders are not my favorite. || OMG Bunny concert! (via metafilter)