rainbow bean soup

Beans are low in fat, loaded with nutrients, and extremely tasty. We would probably eat more of them if they weren’t also loaded with enzymes that introduce musical digestion.

I am told that there are means of preparation that tend to lessen these effects to some degree. One is to choose beans that are reputed to be fruity but not so tooty.

Another is to change the water from time to time while you’re soaking or cooking the beans. Pouring off the water helps get rid of the indigestible complex sugars that create gas in your intestine. It also helps to cook the beans thoroughly, until they can be easily mashed with a fork.

But for a soup, one expects to consume the liquid the beans are being cooked in. For this reason, bean soups are best eaten early in the week, when you are less likely to garner public attention.

There are seemingly countless varieties of beans and I do not know what the characteristics of most of them are. In short, I don’t know beans. In the following recipe I have agglomerated a number of them, for color, texture, and taste. As bean soups go, this one is a blast!

  • ½ cup libbity* beans, washed
  • ¼ cup red kidney beans
  • ¼ cup pink kidney beans
  • ¼ cup black beans
  • ¼ cup pinto beans
  • ¼ cup green split peas
  • ¼ cup yellow split peas
  • ¼ cup lentils
  • 2 large carrots, diced finely
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 lb ham, in ½” dice
Bouquet garni
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh marjoram

Wash the beans, peas, and lentils in a sieve under cool water, removing broken beans and pieces of stone. Put in a pot with the water, bring to a boil, and turn off heat. Cover and let stand one hour.

Put the bouquet garni herbs in a tea infusion ball.

Drain and measure the water; add enough to make 2 quarts. Replace in the pot, add the bouquet garni, onion, and carrots; simmer 2 hours until tender. Add the ham, and simmer another hour.