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Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit…

January 21st, 2010

Many of you requested recipes for ways to cook beans after I posted about scoring some local dried heirloom beans the day before yesterday. So I thought I’d share a few of my favorites.

I really like to eat beans as a sauce over rice more than any other way, but a hearty bean soup is also wonderful. I grew up in South America, where beans are a staple, eaten almost every meal. Probably my favorite beans are Frijoles Antioqueños – traditional food eaten throughout the country of Colombia. Generally you use bola roja beans, but those are difficult to come by here in the U.S., so you can substitute small red beans or kidney if you’d like (small red beans are more similar in texture to the Colombian beans). Colombian food is not like Mexican food, the spices are not as pronounced. They use a tiny bit just to add a little flavor, so these beans are very mild.

Frijoles Antioqueños (Antioquian Beans)

2 pounds bola roja beans (or small red or kidney beans)
4 slices chopped bacon or 1/2 lb piece of salt pork
2 green plantains, finely chopped
1 T. salt
2 T. olive oil oil
4 small tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 chopped onions
1 crushed clove of garlic
1/2 t. of cumin if desired
Pepper to taste

Wash beans and soak overnight. Place beans and bacon or salt pork in pot and cover with water. Cook for a couple hours or until tender (depends of what kind of beans you use). Add plantains and cook until soft. Add salt and mix well. In a separate pan sauté tomatoes, onions and garlic until soft and add to beans. Cook for another half an hour until all flavors have blended. These beans taste even better on the following day! Enjoy served with white rice.

They’re traditionally served as part of a Bandeja Paisa which includes: spiced ground beef, white rice, chicharrón (fried pork rinds), a fried egg, arepas (cornmeal cakes), avocado slices, chorizo (sausage) and fried green plantains.

I was going to make a bean soup with the “Jade” beans, but I decided instead to make braised beans as a side for some roasted chicken. They were fantastic, so I decided to share the recipe with you. These beans ended up being a lot like cannellini beans, so those would be a good substitute, or perhaps a smaller white bean like navy beans.

Braised White Beans

1 lb dried large white beans
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 strips of thick cut bacon – diced
1 large white onion – diced
3 cloves garlic – diced
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 cup white wine
1 quart chicken stock
3 strips lemon peel (without pith)
2 bay leaves
fresh rosemary sprig
fresh thyme sprigs
1 cup grated hard cheese (like Parmesan or Romano)
salt & pepper to taste

Add beans to a large stock pot and cover with a few quart of water, add vinegar and allow to sit overnight or for 24 hours. Drain. Return beans to pot, add a few more quarts of water and simmer for a few hours or until soft.

Dice bacon and add to large pot. Cook for a few minutes and add diced onion, cook for a few minutes and add garlic. When onions and garlic are soft, add sage and some freshly ground pepper along with a teaspoon of salt. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add white wine to deglaze pan, stir to pick up all bits stuck to bottom of pan. Add chicken stock and boil for a few minutes. Drain beans and add to stock along with lemon peel, thyme, rosemary and a Tablespoon or two of lemon juice if desired. Simmer for an hour or until liquid reduces to a thick sauce and beans are soft and starting to fall apart. Remove stems from thyme and rosemary and bay leaves. If desired remove lemon peels and dice, add back to sauce. If you don’t want a ‘lemony’ flavor remove completely.

Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed, stir in cheese and serve warm. Delicious served alone as a side to chicken or serve with rice and a meal.

Lentils are perhaps one of my most favorite kind of bean. They’re quick and easy to cook, they don’t really require overnight soaking like most other beans. I love all different kinds of lentils from big brown ones, to tiny black ones and all the colors in between. These French green lentils are simply stunning!

Sausage Lentil Soup

1 pound of Italian sausage (I like hot Italian, chicken sausage works well also)
2 medium onions (cut to desired size)
5 carrots (cut to desired size)
1-2 cups chopped celery (cut to desired size)
(I usually use equal parts onions/carrots/celery)
5 cloves of garlic
2 T Olive oil
a mix of Italian spices to taste (whatever you prefer): (oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, sage, black pepper, fennel)
2 cups lentils (regular brown or french green)
1 cup small black lentils (if you can’t find these add more brown or omit if you like a brothier soup)
2 quart jars of chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
water if needed
1 quart of diced tomatoes
a few handfuls of fresh spinach or other greens if desired

Add sausage and olive oil to pan and slightly cook, then add chopped onions, carrots & celery cook until softened (You can cover pot if you want). Add garlic and spices (I usually add a teaspoon or two of oregano and some fennel, lots of red pepper, a good amount of black pepper and some sage). Cook for a minute or two and add brown and green lentils and chicken stock. Simmer for several hours until lentils are almost done (will be less if using French green lentils), then add small black lentils, tomatoes, greens and water if needed, cook until black lentils are finished. Then salt to taste and adjust spices if needed. Serve with freshly grated Romano cheese and a drizzle of fresh olive. Tastes best accompanied by crusty bread!

This red lentil soup is amended from a dal recipe. It’s got a wonderful middle-eastern flavor that’s really exotic. I love the color, it sure brightens up the table. The flavor of the toasted cumin seeds is not as harsh as ground cumin, so don’t be afraid of using them (I usually double the amount in the recipe). You can spice it up more if you like hot food by adding some red curry paste or some more cayenne (ground or in flakes).

Curried Red Lentil Soup

1 C. red lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained
3 C. water
1 large tomato, cut into 8 wedges (or 8 oz. diced canned tomato)
1/4 C. olive oil or ghee
1/2 t. cumin seeds
1 medium onion (yellow or red), finely chopped
5 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. ground turmeric
1/2 t. cayenne (or less if you like it milder)
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1 T. butter
3/4 t. salt (or to taste)
1 can of coconut milk
1 pint of chicken stock


Place lentils, tomato (if using fresh tomato, if using canned add later) and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered until lentils are tender and have lost their shape, about 40 minutes (begin checking that there is still water in the pot at 30 minutes and add small batches of water as needed). Pick out any tomato skins and whisk to break up the lentils. Keep warm over low heat.

Make the tadka (Indian spice prep) as follows:
Heat oil in a medium skillet over high heat when oil is hot, add cumin seeds. After seeds have stopped sputtering, add the garlic and onion and saute over medium heat until most of the onion has turned brown, 5-10 minutes. Add the coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, stir, and pour the onion/spice mixture over the dal. Add the butter tomato (if using canned), (cilantro/parsley), and salt to the dal and simmer for another 5 minutes.

If eating as a soup add coconut milk and enough chicken broth to reach desired consistency. If eating over rice you can still add coconut milk or omit, whatever you like. Serve hot. I like to serve with naan (Indian flatbread).

If you have a great bean recipe post it on you blog and link to it below. Or add your recipe in the comment section. I’d love to try some of your favorites!

More Bean Recipes to Try:
White Bean Rosemary Soup by Ina Garten. If you like rosemary you’ll love this soup, it’s simple and delicious.
Parker’s Split Pea Soup from Barefoot Contessa. This soup is really great if you like split peas. It’s such a great color as well.
White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Dip from Smitten Kitchen. I’ve made this several times to take to parties. It’s always a hit. I’m not a huge fan of roasted red peppers and I love this!
101 Cookbooks – has tons of great bean recipes. She specializes in healthy vegetarian foods.
Refrigerator Soup Bean Recipes
Williams Sonoma Bean Recipes

21 Comments to “Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit…”
  1. pam on January 21, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I am also a huge bean fan! I tend to make a batch in the slow cooker on the weekend, to freeze our use as side dishes through the week. Some cooked beans tossed with a little olive oil and fresh rosemary makes a quick and simple side to just about anything.

    Reply to pam's comment

  2. Tree Huggin Momma on January 21, 2010 at 8:10 am

    I love lentils. I soak my beans (usually with vinegar) for 12-24 hours and then cook them for 12 hours in my slow cooker, and then I cool them and freeze them in 1 c portions. I use them in all sauces (spaghetti too), and in soups. I love lentils and have made my family sloppy lentils, and lentil chili which they love. I am trying to find a lentil sausage patty recipe for them, but have not found it as of yet.

    Reply to Tree Huggin Momma's comment

    • Lynn Cameron on July 13, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Check out forks over knives..

      Reply to Lynn Cameron's comment

  3. Ria on January 21, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Those recipes sound delicious! I’ve been meaning to stock up on beans for a while now, but since I’m the only person in the house that tends to like them, I’ve been hestitant to spend money on a food that only I will eat. But I think some of these recipes might even tempt my roommate into eating beans!

    Reply to Ria's comment

  4. Rachel on January 21, 2010 at 10:43 am

    we love and eat beans all of the time at our house. I have a sloppy lentil recipe that I make in the crockpot and it is well loved. I have a red beans in the crockpot as we speak for dinner tonight! I am excited to try the lentil sausage soup recipe, that looks delicious!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..wood, but not THAT kind =-.

    Reply to Rachel's comment

  5. Mavis on January 21, 2010 at 10:44 am

    This post could not have come at a better time… I am new to dried beans and am having a great time trying out new recipes…Thanks for this post!

    Reply to Mavis's comment

  6. Jaspenelle on January 21, 2010 at 11:15 am

    More bean recipes, thank you (and thank you for the email too.) I love split pea soup. It is a post Yule dish for us as it is the only time of year I have ham bones on hand to make the base.
    .-= Jaspenelle´s last blog ..Spring? =-.

    Reply to Jaspenelle's comment

  7. Michelle on January 21, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I am going to make every one of these recipes….they all sound SO GOOD. Thank you for sharing them!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Wednesday in the Word. =-.

    Reply to Michelle's comment

  8. Ken Toney on January 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing your recipes. I can’t wait to try them. Growing up in the south, one of my favorite meals is beans, cornbread and a pot of greens with fatback. I am going to try growing several varieties of dry beans this year. I’d like to grow all that we eat and not buy produce from the store anymore.
    .-= Ken Toney´s last blog ..Homemade Laundry Detergent =-.

    Reply to Ken Toney's comment

  9. stefaneener on January 21, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Oh yum. I’m going to have to try the red lentils. With rice and garlic naan, that’d be terrific.
    .-= stefaneener´s last blog ..We got weather =-.

    Reply to stefaneener's comment

  10. Dan on January 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Nice recipes. I recall having a bean stew when I was younger that had kielbasa, beans, pineapple and a few other things. It was really good, I will have to see if I can find the recipe. The Sausage Lentil Soup sound really good. I will have to save that one, would be good with lentils, beans or brown rice.
    .-= Dan´s last blog ..Winter Garden Update =-.

    Reply to Dan's comment

    • Susy on January 21, 2010 at 6:27 pm

      That sounds great! I love foods with pineapple.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. Bren on January 21, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Your photography is wonderful! I am an Ohio gardener who enjoys to take photos of my life in the garden too. I am going to use that recipe you shared. THANK YOU!

    Please stop by my blog sometime!
    .-= Bren´s last blog ..Mini with Huge Delight =-.

    Reply to Bren's comment

  12. Lindsey S on January 21, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    the sausage lentil soup and curried lentils sound great, if it wasn’t for having soup that past 2 nights i would make one of those today :)

    the braised beans look and sound fantastic! thanks so much for sharing yummy recipes!
    .-= Lindsey S´s last blog ..Choose Your Scent Avocado Damask Muscle Relief Bag =-.

    Reply to Lindsey S's comment

  13. Melissa on January 21, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    I can hardly wait to try some of these! Thanks for the recipes. Yum!
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Loving Montessori =-.

    Reply to Melissa's comment

  14. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Ian Blackford. Ian Blackford said: Great Bean Recipes | Chiot's Run: Add white wine to deglaze pan, stir to pick up all bits stuck to bottom of pan. … […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention Great Bean Recipes | Chiot’s Run —'s comment

  15. MAYBELLINE on January 22, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Made the braised white beans tonight. Thanks for the recipe. Perfect for a cold, rainy night.
    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..Bienvenido a El Nino! =-.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

    • Susy on January 22, 2010 at 10:58 pm

      Glad you enjoyed them. We’ve been enjoying the leftovers.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  16. Justin on January 23, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks for posting some great recipes, Susy! I do have two recipes to share. One is a much simpler (we’ll call it “weeknight”) version of Ina Garten’s Tuscan Bean Soup recipe that I worked out awhile back. The other is a salad I came up with the other night after being so inspired by your bean post.

    I’ve posted both recipes to my own blog here:

    Thanks for the inspiration and the great “non-spicy” recipes. I’ll have to try some of them.
    .-= Justin´s last blog ..Thrifty Cooking – A Hill of Beans… =-.

    Reply to Justin's comment

  17. Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on August 17, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Please please please come on by my frugal food series and add this post in to the linky! These are such delicious sounding recipes. . .

    The link to the Frugal Food Series: Beans post is

    Reply to Jenn @ Frugal Upstate's comment

  18. Cool Recipe images | Only Drinks on November 7, 2013 at 1:45 am

    […] for more bean recipes: […]

    Reply to Cool Recipe images | Only Drinks's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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