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Bean Soup

Today's meal had to be a do-ahead meal.  We were in meetings all day again today, I had arranged to meet a friend for lunch, we wouldn't get home until 6:30 at the earliest, and then we would have Bible study after that.

So, last night I soaked 2 cups of a variety of beans in hot water.  I left them overnight, then this morning put them in the crockpot.  My crockpot cooks faster than crockpots normally do (at least it seems that way to me), so John turned it on at noon.  We added some Lebanese sausages called merguez.  And we served it with zucchini muffins that I had made on Saturday.  French bread or cornbread would also be good with this recipe.

In the end none of our Bible study group showed up, which was a blessing in disguise since we were really tired.  But it sure was nice to walk in the door to find supper waiting for us!

A few years ago for Christmas my neighbor and friend, Beka, gave me a big jar of mixed dried beans and this recipe for bean soup.  If you use the crockpot, the only work to it is to remember to soak the beans overnight the night before.

Here's the recipe:
1 1/2 - 2 cups mixture of dried beans (I had mung beans, fava beans, kidney beans, split peas, and lentils)
2 quarts water
1 turkey leg or ham bone or scraps of roast beef cut in cubes or sausage (or none, especially if you're vegetarian)
1 (28 oz) can whole, peeled tomatoes, chopped (I used tomatoes I had frozen in the freezer)
1 large onion, diced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme (I cut this back because I don't like too much thyme)
1/2 teaspoon sage
2 teaspoons salt
I also added fresh basil

Cook in the crockpot until the beans are tender!  At the end you can stir in 1/4 cup small pasta, but I don't bother with the pasta.  This recipe makes a LOT of soup, so unless you're serving an army of hungry people, you could halve the recipe.  I forgot it made so much, so we have a LOT of soup left!

Thanks for the recipe, Beka!