Soups and Beans


2 c. dried white beans (smaller type such as navy preferred)
4 1/2 c. water
1/4 lb. bacon, cut into small chunks
1/2 c. ketchup
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 T. molasses
1/2 t. salt
1 tsp. mustard

Soak beans overnight in Dutch oven or stock pot, then rinse and cover with fresh water. Add remaining ingredients and bake, covered, for 6 hours at 300º. Add water as needed, and uncover for the final hour of cooking.


1 lb. black beans, soaked and cooked
1-2 T. dried onions
2 cloves mashed garlic
2 c. chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. lime juice
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Add onions, garlic, broth and tomatoes to cooked beans. Remove half the soup, blend half, and recombine. Add oil and spices, heat for 10-15 minutes, serve topped with a dollop of sour cream over rice. If desired, cut corn tortillas in strips and fry for a crispy topping as well. Serves 5-6.


1 c. red or white beans
7 c. water
2 tsp. crushed garlic
1 T. dried onions
½ bunch collards, tough stems removed (or kale or spinach), sliced chiffonade-style
½ lb. kielbasa or chorizo, sliced
1 c. potato flakes (or 1 medium potato, cubed, added at the beginning with the garlic, etc.)
Salt, pepper

Place beans in crock pot with water to cover, soak overnight. Next day drain and rinse, add 7 c. water, garlic, onions, and some salt, cook on high 3 hours, low 8 hours, or till tender. Add collards, potato flakes, and sausage. (Optional: brown the sausage before adding.) Cook another 30 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve. (Alternatively, kale will need to cook for an hour or two, spinach only 10 minutes or so, if using those as greens.)


1/2 c. chopped onion
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
3 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. carrot coins
1 1/2 c. diced potatoes
1 c. sour cream
parsley, salt and pepper

Saute onion in butter until tender. Add flour, stir and cook a minute or two, then add broth. Bring to boiling, add vegetables and cook until soft, about 20 min. Cool slightly, then puree with blender. Add sour cream as well as seasonings to taste. Serve hot.


1 cooked chicken carcass
Cold water to cover
1 onion, cut in half
2 carrots, cut in thirds
3 stalks celery with leaves, cut in half
1 bay leaf
6 peppercorns

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, skimming off the scum during the first 30 minutes. Simmer partially covered for 4 or 5 hours. Add salt, sage, and thyme to taste, then strain through a cheesecloth or sieve. Cool quickly, uncovered, if not using immediately. Also pick through the remaining bones for the good soup meat that is now easier to reach, discarding inedible bones and boiled vegetables.

Chicken broth from carcass, with water, other broth, and/or bouillon added if needed or wanted.
2 stalks celery, chopped finely
1 ½ c. frozen peas
2 carrots, diced
Meat from carcass, plus extra meat if desired
Salt, pepper, and parsley
(optional: 2 oz. soup noodles such as ABCs, orzo, stars, etc.)

1 c. flour
½ c. bread crumbs
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
2 T. melted butter
⅓ c. milk

Bring broth, celery, peas, and carrots to a simmer in the widest pot available. Meanwhile, combine flour, bread crumbs, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl; in another bowl lightly beat egg, melted butter, and milk together. Stir into the dry ingredients to make a stiff batter. With the soup simmering, add meat and seasonings to taste, and noodles if using. Drop spoonfuls of dumpling dough on top, cover, and steam for 20 minutes. Be warned that it’s a very light soup, so there won’t be any leftovers.


1 lb. dry beans, rinsed, soaked, and drained
(Any type works, white beans or the packaged 16-bean mix are most classic.)
Ham bone and/or leftover ham bits
(Optional: substitute a few tablespoons of bacon grease instead of the ham to really stretch your budget without sacrificing flavor.)
1 T. dried onion
1 stalk celery, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
bay leaf
1 ½ tsp. salt (adjust according to how much salty ham you’re including)
pepper to taste

Put the beans and the ham in a large soup pot and cover with water, about an inch above the surface (sometimes not quite covering the most protruding bits of ham bone). Bring to a boil and skim off any undesired foam. After 20-30 minutes, add remaining vegetables and bay leaf; simmer for at least another half hour, depending on the variety of bean, but beans should be tender. Remove ham bone to let cool, add salt and pepper to the soup, and get the remaining meat off the bone to add to the pot. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve with fresh biscuits, bread, or rice. We like to leave the bay leaf in the pot and whoever finds it in their bowl has the ‘lucky leaf’ for the night.


5 potatoes, diced
2 onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 can corn, undrained
2 T. butter or bacon grease
salt and pepper to taste
Diced ham and/or bacon bits to taste

Put all ingredients in crock pot, add water to almost cover. Cook on low for 8-9 hours. Stir in either one can of evaporated milk or 1 1/2 c. fresh non-skim milk. It’s easy to vary this soup by adding grated cheese and/or broccoli if you want.


I think of these as a Cuban version of tacos; at our house, we serve them piled over rice with all the toppings of a taco bar, such as tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, salsa, and lettuce. Colorful and filling, I’d say this meal has got to be in our top 3 favorites!

1 lb. dry black beans
1 bay leaf
1 medium to large onion, chopped
1 or 2 green bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic
3 T. vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 T. cumin
2 tsp. paprika
1 ½ tsp. oregano
½ tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. sugar
2 T. olive oil

Soak beans, drain, and rinse. Add bay leaf, cover with water (about 4 or 5 cups, or an inch above the beans) and bring to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, chop onion and green pepper and saute separately in some oil; mash or finely dice garlic and add to onions and peppers once onions are becoming translucent. Cook for one more minute, and combine with the cooked pot of beans in whichever pot will hold it all. Add vinegar, salt, and other seasonings and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove 1 cup of the beans, mash, and return to pot; stir in sugar, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with rice. If desired, garnish with cilantro.


1 c. dry lentils
¼ c. dry kidney beans or black beans
2 large onions, chopped
2-3 T. oil
green chilies, halved (optional)
1 tsp. ginger
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. chili powder
1 T. coriander powder
2 cloves garlic, finely diced or crushed
1 can (28-oz.) tomatoes, diced or crushed (or 6 fresh)
1 T. salt
1 tsp. garam masala
1 c. cream

Soak lentils and kidney beans overnight, then drain and rinse, cover with water again, and cook till extra-soft. Meanwhile, in another pan, cook onions and chilies in oil until tender. Add garlic and seasonings (except for garam masala) and stir for a few minutes till fragrant, then add tomatoes. Stir for another minute or two, then add salt and cooked beans and simmer 15 minutes. It should end up being thick and nearly mushy, so adjust by adding water and/or cooking until thick, also mashing as necessary. Once it is simmered and thick, stir in garam masala; finally, add cream and stir gently. Serve garnished with cilantro if desired, over rice or chapati.


2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 T. olive oil
5 c. beef broth
1 c. water
½ c. uncooked rice
6 c. torn spinach
2 c. cooked great northern beans
1 15-oz. can tomatoes
1 ½ c. zucchini, diced
thyme, salt, and pepper to taste
¼ c. milk or cream
Feta cheese to serve

Cook celery and onion in oil until tender. Add crushed garlic, broth, water, and rice and boil till rice is cooked. Add remaining ingredients (except feta and milk) and simmer briefly to blend. Stir in milk, pass feta at the table.


1 c. dry white beans (navy or northern), cooked
1 c. chopped carrots
2 c. finely shredded cabbage
½ c. frozen peas
1 can green beans, drained, or equivalent from fresh/frozen
1 (14-oz.) can diced tomatoes
4 oz. egg noodles or macaroni
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
3 T. light cream
3 T. Parmesan
2 T. butter/margarine
2-3 T. olive oil
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 clove minced garlic

In 5 c. water, cook carrots and cabbage until tender, about half an hour. Add beans, remaining vegetables, and noodles to boiling water. Cook until noodles are tender, about 15 min. Remove from the heat, stir in spices and fats and serve.


6 T. butter
1 diced onion
1 chopped carrot
2 stalks celery with leaves, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 apple, diced
1 lb. chicken or beef cubes (optional)
⅓ c. flour
1 T. curry powder
½ tsp. nutmeg
dash ground cloves
6 c. broth
1 can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

rice and sliced/chopped toasted almonds to serve

Melt 4 T. of butter in a large soup pot. Add the vegetables, apple, and optional meat and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes. Add remaining 2 T. butter, flour, curry, and nutmeg to the pot, and cook over low heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally, add broth, tomatoes, and remaining seasonings and simmer the soup for about half an hour. Serve over warm rice, topped with toasted almonds.


¼ c. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb. dry lentils
4-6 oz. lamb (can be a single chunk or in pieces)
1 T. vinegar
2 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
Green garden salad and vinaigrette-type dressing, to serve

Sauté onion, celery, and carrots in oil for a few minutes; add garlic and cook one minute more. Add lentils and lamb and 8 c. water, and simmer till lentils are tender, about 30-40 minutes, adding more water if necessary to cover. When tender, stir in vinegar, salt, and pepper and other herbs if desired, such as thyme, oregano, marjoram, or tarragon. If lamb needs to be broken up into bits, do so, and stir evenly into stew. Serve into a large soup bowl and top directly with salad and dressing in the same bowl. Dish is eaten with both together.


1 lb. ground beef (optional)
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 lbs. dried beans, any combination of kidney and/or pinto, soaked and cooked
2 (28-oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
¾ c. pumpkin purée
1 T. bacon grease
4 cubes beef bouillon
2 T. chili powder
1 T. salt
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. oregano
1 T. cumin
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. cayenne

Cook ground beef in large stock pot, drain grease, and add onions, celery, and peppers. Cook 3-5 more minutes, then add all remaining ingredients and simmer slowly for 2 hours. Taste and add salt or chili powder if you feel more is needed.


2 lbs. dry red beans, soaked and cooked
1 lb. breakfast-type bulk sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. salt
1 tsp. thyme

Combine ingredients in large pot, simmer about 45 minutes to combine, and serve over rice.


2 lbs. dry pinto beans, soaked
4 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
2 whole serrano chilies (if available)
¼ c. oil or bacon grease
2 T. salt
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 (28-oz.) can diced or crushed tomatoes

Add to the uncooked beans half the onion and half the garlic, as well as all of the bay leaves and chilies. Bring to a good simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, adding more water if it cooks away. Add 1 T. oil or bacon grease, cook for another 30 minutes until tender. Add seasonings and cook an additional 30 minutes without adding more water.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan, sauté the rest of the onions and garlic in the remaining oil or grease until the onion is soft. Add tomatoes and heat through; then take a cup or so of the cooked beans out of the pot and add them into the frying pan. Mash this into a paste, and stir all back into the pot of cooked beans. Use a potato masher to further mash and thicken the beans if desired.


2 T. butter or olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
8 c. water
1 lb. dried split peas
Chunk of ham hock or ham bone, amount to taste
1 bay leaf
1-2 tsp. salt, depending on how much you need to balance the ham
½ tsp. dried oregano or marjoram (optional)
1 medium- large potato, diced

Soften onion, carrots, and celery in oil/butter about 5 minutes; add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes, adding water to cover if necessary during cooking. Peas should be tender and potatoes nearly dissolved into the soup. Remove ham and cut meat into bits, stir back into the pot; add freshly ground pepper and serve.


1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes
3 c. tomato juice
2. chicken broth
1 T. dried basil (or to taste)
½ c. cream
3 T. butter cut into pieces
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Combine tomatoes, juice, and broth in a large saucepan. Simmer 30 minutes. Add basil, then use blender to process soup until smooth. Whisk in cream, butter, salt and pepper until butter is melted and soup is heated. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.


½ lb. lean ground beef
4 c. beef broth
1 can (28-oz.) diced or stewed tomatoes
2 carrots, diced
2 potatoes, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 c. frozen peas
mushrooms, chopped (optional)
¼ c. barley
1 bay leaf
1 T. dried onions
¼ tsp. ground sage
salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot or Dutch oven, lightly brown ground beef; drain some excess fat if desired, but leave most of it (especially if the beef is fairly lean). Add broth, tomatoes, carrots, celery, peas, and mushrooms, and bring to a low boil. Add remaining ingredients, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 30 more minutes.

credit to Tracy Carolyn

1 T. oil
2 c. chopped onions
6 c. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
½ c. natural (unsweetened, stir-type) peanut butter
1 lb. dry chickpeas, soaked and cooked
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
4 c. broth, chicken or vegetable
1 T. cumin
1 T. salt
1 tsp. ginger
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In Dutch oven or stock pot, sauté onions in oil for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for half an hour.

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