Spicy Seven-Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup each of dried: baby limas, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, small white or navy beans, pinto beans, and red beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 T. sugar
  •  1 T. dried basil
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • 1 T. balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 T. dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

How to make the soup:
Sort through the beans, discarding the discolored ones. Put beans in a bowl, add cold water to cover and soak in the refrigerator overnight.

In a large pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, bell pepper, onion, celery, carrot and pepper flakes. Saute until the onion is translucent, 2-3 minutes. Drain the beans and stir them into the pot along with stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, basil, oregano, vinegar, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the beans are tender about 2-2 1/2 hours.

Just before serving, discard the bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in parsley or cilantro. Ladle into bowls. Serves 6-8 and freezes well.

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