Simple Bean Soup

“What’s in the beans tonight, mom?”

“Oh… a little bit of this and that.”

“Yes! I LOVE that flavor!”

At OpenWest, my friend Joseph Hall has talked about Computational Gastronomy and Cooking Like an Engineer.

I don’t cook like an engineer, ever. If anything, I cook like an abstract expressionist. My daughter recently listed her favorite cuisine as “experimental” … Except for the not so great experiments, like the one they refer to as the infamous Napalm Soup.

Still, this is a simple favorite of theirs. I know this could be fancier, and perhaps this speaks all too well for my article on picky eaters, but here is the recipe, for the sake of documentation, in case the kids ever need it:

Simple Bean Soup (picture edited; I didn’t realize the one I took on my phone was THAT bad … :-p)


A bag of dry beans
Dried minced garlic
Onion powder
Cumin powder
Black pepper
Vinegar (basalmic is good)
Hot sauce

1. Sort and rinse the beans. I used black beans this time, obviously. There is always at least one stone, so find it and throw it out.

2. Cover the beans with plenty of water. Boil for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover them, and wait for 1 hour.

3. Put the beans in a crockpot. You can rinse them first if you’d like, but either way, add water so the beans are well-covered. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

4. Seasoning! Start with a sprinkling of each, add more until the soup smells great.* Then let those flavors combine for an hour or so on low before salting to taste.

* This can’t be measured, because even with the same ingredients, the soup seems to need a different balance on different days.

So much for documentation, right?

Serve with warm bread and butter, and fresh fruit for dessert.

rebel red bean


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