I was shopping at Trader Joe's several weeks ago, and I picked up a bag of 17 Bean & Barley Soup Mix. I was on a mission to begin stocking my pantry for the fall/winter, and I really wanted to move away from canned beans, which are loaded with sodium.
You'll remember from earlier posts that beans are one of the most healthy and economical things you can eat. Just 1/4 cup of this mix contains 52% of your daily fiber requirement. For vegetarians, beans are also a wonderful and much-needed source of protein. I know beans are not the most popular thing to eat, and some people are down right afraid of them.Properly prepared, beans taste great, and are great for you! Picking up a bag of dried beans like I did at Trader Joe's is a great introduction into the bean world. There was a terrific recipe right on the bag, and I followed the directions exactly.
First, you soak the beans overnight in water. To avoid those intestinal problems that sometimes come with beans, drain the soaking water and rinse the beans off. I don't know if it's an urban legend or not, but supposedly this will alleviate the issue.
The recipe was simple, and it makes for a great batch of soup. Not only is it tasty, but very inexpensive. I know I should have kept better track, but I would be surprised if I spent more than $6 in total. According to the package, it says it makes 13 servings. That would be less than fifty cents per person, or less than a buck if you served larger portions.
Let's just say that when I was done, I had enough soup for a week :)
As the weather cools and we move into soup weather, please try a recipe calling for dried beans. I don't think you'll be disappointed.