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Dried beans / bean soup / slow cooker

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by lilachardy, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Hello
    I'm a bit scared of dried beans, due to a bad experience in the past.

    Basically, I have been inspired to make a black and white bean soup, and so I've bought some dried black beans and some haricot beans. I want spicy soup, and quite hearty. Rustic perhaps!
    I intend to make the soup in a slow cooker if this is viable...

    ... before I resort to my books, I thought I'd ask for tips from you!

    Help, please?
    Lil
     
  2. LOL, how many varying tips do you want?
    I always soak my beans overnight, whether using in the slow cooker or not.
    Some people advocate fast boiling, if you have not soaked, but I prefer the soaking overnight method.
    If you have soaked them, there is no problem using them in the slow cooker.
    I soak for a minimum of 12 hours, usually longer.
     
  3. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    I can do that.

    I want LOTS of varying tips [​IMG]
     
  4. btw, not sure what bad experience you have had.
    If you have cooked dried beans and they remained hard, then they were too old. The skin becomes thicker, although this is not a problem; the problem is that the beans have three wee pores (called raphe, hilum, and micropyle, if you want to get technical) through which they take moisture and these become blocked with age and you can cook for aaaaaaaaaaages but they will not soften as no water can get through the blocked pores.

     
  5. No suprise that I agree with CQ. I too usually soak the beans overnight, it gives me time to get all the other ingredients ready and I just bung it all in before I go to work!
    You can fast boil but as it takes an hour I usually don't have that time!
    If you have any slow cooker queries do a search here, you'll find quite a few threads.
    Alternatively ask away, some of us will talk about our sloco at the drop of a hat! [​IMG]
     
  6. Sorry, Lil!
    I didn't notice it was you asking (I have half an eye on the rugby!).
    If it is bean specific give me a shout and I'll fetch the Rose Elliot from my bedside reading pile!
    Soaking has no affect on the windy properties of a bean... although may cookery books say it releases enzymes that start to break down the indigestible starches.
    Soaking gets rid of the lectins and phytates (!!!!) that cause the 'poisonous' effect over and above the more usual windy bottyness!
    Many dried pulses don't need soaking, but it does cut down on cooking time!
     
  7. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    I have several Rose Elliot books, including the bean book... but I rarely follow a recipe to the letter, instead adding experience into the mix.
    So, generally speaking, I want to soak the beans overnight, then rinse and put into the slow cooker with the other ingredients for a day?
     
  8. Yup - although whether to rinse or use the soaking water is another topic of debate.
    I do rinse beans and use fresh water (I can't remember why, summat to do with kidney beans and toxins).
    However, when I soak lentils, I use the soaking water to cook with.
    When to add salt is another debate again - I tend to add salt at the end, out of habit, as I was taught this way, although I am not convinced it actually makes any real difference to cooking time at all.

     
  9. Yes!
    (resists the temptation to continue offering up an egg for sucking)
     
  10. I was feeling the same way, as I know lilac can cook!

     
  11. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    I can cook, indeed, but I'm scared of dried beans!
     
  12. Dare I suggest that you follow the recipes in the Bean Book until you lose your fear? Or at least the preparation instructions!
    I'm trying that with offal at the moment! Hopefully I'll lose my fear of the icky bits sooner rather than later!

     
  13. Why? What went wrong the last time?
    The Rose Elliot book is brill, btw - Pobs made me buy it. She really bullied me and took ages to convince me [​IMG]
     
  14. Yes! CQ blinks extremely slowly!

     
  15. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Not a bad suggestion, ok, you have a point!
    I wonder where it is...



    Last time, btw, ... my mother was involved. Let's leave it at that.
     
  16. Ah! You have my deepest sympathies and 100% understanding!
    My mother and cooking meat was why I initially went veggie and bought my first Rose Elliot book - I was about 12!
     
  17. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Mmmmm. I waited til 14.
     
  18. [​IMG]
    Good cookery must jump generations - might be a defensive measure followed by a lazy reaction to being spoiled followed by a defensive measure.......
    All I know is my Nana was a good cook and taught me lots, her daughters both know how, but something goes wrong at their fingertips! I have never eaten such foul food as my aunt cooks, both her kids went veggie early too! Like me they were seduced by a bacon butty about 3 years after leaving home!
    Climber's mum was equally appalling, mind you so was her mum! He came to me knowing how to make beans on toast and wouldn't touch herbs, spices and many veggies... his brother still has a very restricted list of acceptbale foodstuffs. Climber cooks anything and everything now with varying results....
    I've found my be
     
  19. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Mmm, ok.

    Having looked in all my books, it's really not that hard, is it?

    Soak the beans overnight, then drain and rinse
    Chop and fry an onion and some garlic, and perhaps celery and red pepper too
    Bung into the slow cooker, add a can or two of tomatoes
    Cook until I get home from work!

    Ok - so what spices or herbs would you recommend?
     
  20. ah, ok.
    Well, you have us now and you have at least two on this thread who are/were/sometimes still are fellow veggies [​IMG]
     

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