Here is a blue print for a simple and satisfying bean soup - using any bean you like: split peas, lentils, pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, etc, etc. Pinto or black beans and lentils are a couple of my favorites. This recipe produces a wonderfully filling soup. You might like to use a combination of your favorite beans and other veggies like zucchini, green beans, etc to suit your personal preferences.
2 cups your favorite Beans
1-2 dried Red Chile pepper
1 sprig each, Oregano and Thyme
1 Bay Leaf, fresh or dry
1/4 cup barley
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Red Pepper (Cayenne)
1 large Onion, chopped
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
1 pinch Asafetida
1/2 tsp Turmeric
3-4 tender inner ribs of Celery
2-3 Carrots, diced or grated
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
2 cups Corn Kernels, fresh or frozen
3-4 Ripe Tomatoes, chopped or pureed
1/2 cup EACH Parsley and Cilantro, chopped
Sort, wash, and soak the beans; cook the beans with the barley and the chile and herbs until soft; see this post for more info on how to cook beans. When the beans are cool, fish out the herb stems and chile and discard them.
Heat the oil in a large pot and add the asafetida and red pepper; stir in the onions with a pinch of salt and cook covered over moderate heat until onions are softened.
Add the celery, carrots and the turmeric and cook covered for about 5 more minutes.
Stir in bell pepper, corn, tomatoes and the cooked beans; add salt and pepper to taste and bring the soup to a boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer gently for 30 minutes; if the soup is too thick, add boiling water as necessary.
Turn off the heat and let rest for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the parsley/cilantro and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
Serve hot with crusty bread, a crisp salad, and other favorite accompaniments. Enjoy!!