sixteen beans in all their colorful glory
Most groceries carry this mixture in the pasta/dried beans aisle. One pound makes a HUGE pot of tasty soup. Some mixtures include barley — this gives the soup body and if it’s not included in my mix, I toss in 1/4 cup with the beans when soaking. Pick up a package of sixteen-bean mix for about a dollar, and have a simple and delicious supper.
1. Pick over and wash the beans (and barley, if using).
2. Soak in 6 cups cold water overnight
Quick-soak: bring beans to a boil in 6 cups water. Boil ten minutes, skimming off foam. Switch off the heat, cover the pan and let them sit an hour.
3. Drain off soaking water. Rinse beans. Add six cups fresh water, one chopped onion and a couple of chopped carrots. Cook at a simmer (adding water as needed), about 2-3 hours, or until beans are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Best served steaming hot on a chilly, stormy evening in autumn, with some crusty bread to soak up the broth.