Thursday, October 02, 2008

My Unrequited Love

is beans -- baked beans, bean soup -- whatever.  

I love beans and they repay me with flatulance of an order that might make a lighter person wieghtless if not actually airborne.  In the case of beans, it is supposedly compounds known as oligosacchirides (whatever they are) which bring about the windiness.  The problem with them is that we can't digest them, but bacteria we carry in our lower intestines find them quite yummy.  However, these bacteria have as excrement -- gas...

In any case, if you are going to take beans to task, you must soak them for at least 10-12 hours, preferably changing the water a time or two and rinsing them most carefully before preparing them, for example, in bean soup.

Here is how to make a real mean bean soup:

Take a cup of dry white beans soaked 10-12 hours and well rinsed in clear water, put them in a pot well covered with water and heat to a boil and let them simmer for at least two hours -- frankly though, despite what the cookbooks say, I don't see how you can over cook beans, unless you burn them, of course...

In the beans you should also be cooking an onion, finely chopped, like wise a stalk of celery and a carrot.  A peeled potato or two should also find their way to the pot -- but don't chop either them or the slice or two of bacon you throw in the pot. 

For spices, there should be sprigs of rosemary, thyme and a bay leaf or two.  A clove of garlic is also recomended as well as a cube of chicken boulion.  A teaspoon or two of muscovado sugar will help to harmonize the seasonings.

After simmering for at least two hours - three might be better - let the soup cool a bit and trasfer about half of the beans, all the potatoes  and most of the liquid to a bowl and puree them.   Return the mush to the reast of the beans, heat and serve in bowls, garnished with parsley and a good bread.

Eat your fill and fart with gusto the next day!

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