Baked Bean Soup

RECIPE #502, DAY #756

FOUR STARS

001_DSC_0304ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Baked Bean Soup” from Moosewood Collective’s Moosewood Daily Special*

TIMING: 20 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Easy

TOOLS: Cutting board and knife, soup pot, ladle

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: This soup would be highly recommended, if I hadn’t been heavy-handed with the brown sugar. You could, actually, leave out the brown sugar altogether—which is how the recipe was originally—but I am not willing to. Otherwise, you have lots of fresh veggies and beans. Pair with a whole grain, like corn bread, and you have a winning dinner.

006_DSC_0309EXPERIENCE: I love baked beans. Around here, we are in the habit of calling them “sweet beans,” which is a little diversion I used when my kids were little to get them to eat baked beans. It worked, and now my kids also love baked beans.

So when this soup lined up with what I had in the pantry, I was thrilled. What could be better than baked beans made into a one-pot meal? (Technically, it begs for a grain, but whatever. Grab some crackers, or in our case, some already-made banana bread.)

When I tasted the soup, I was predictably alarmed that it did not have any real sweet notes, even with the molasses. It was nice and umami—which is part of what I love about baked beans—but without the sugar. So I added, yeah, like ¼ cup brown sugar. Then, yum! I will make this again.

It is also vegetarian.

NOTES: You could omit or cut back on the brown sugar. Whatevs.

***

  1. In a soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add 2 chopped onions and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned.
  2. Add 3 diced carrots, 1 diced rib celery, 1 tablespoon chili powder, a pinch of salt and a pinch of brown sugar, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until veggies are soft.
  3. Add 2 cups water, 1 can stewed tomatoes, 1 can drained white beans, ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons molasses, 1 tablespoon brown mustard, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Taste for salt, pepper, and seasonings, and serve hot.

***

Serve with grated cheddar and optional crumbled bacon, as well as a grain such as corn or banana bread. Beer or kombucha would pair well. The Moosewood cookbook recommends corn on the cob, a green salad with escarole or radicchio and Honey-Dijon dressing, and baked apples. Of course, pork chops would also be a no-brainer.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: Just warm it up in a pan, adding some water to re-thin and tasting for salt and pepper.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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