I was born in the beautiful state of Kentucky and had a ton of family there from my mom’s side of the family. And between all those aunts, uncles, cousins, and my grandma – well let’s just say I was introduced to southern cooking at a very early age.
And you know what? They all shared one thing in common.
Kentucky Soup Beans
Soup Beans is just the Kentucky way of saying a big pot of Pinto Beans, slow cooked in their own broth , usually flavored with either a ham hock, or a piece of salt pork, and served with a big hunk of cornbread. Oh and don’t forget the ice-cold glass of buttermilk.
It didn’t matter who’s house we visiting, there was always a big pot of them on the stove.
Yeah I know – not very Vegan is it? But good? Oh man.
Sure you can buy a can of pinto beans at the store, but there’s just something about cooking them the old-fashioned way, like mom used to, that makes them taste just like home.
And this…… well this is NOT what mom used to make! Yikes!
I’ll admit, it’s a fairly long process, cleaning, sorting, soaking, rinsing, and then an all day simmer, but let me tell you it’s worth it.
Dried pinto beans are one of the least expensive, healthy, items you can buy in the store. They’re loaded with protein, fiber, natural fats, calcium, and even iron too.
So although this recipe isn’t exactly like mom used to make – since she wasn’t vegan (and would probably yell at me for saying I was) – there are pretty darn close.
So get out the crock pot and get soaking!
Oh and just a bit of a warning….
If you are not used to eating a lot of fiber – these beans will uh…..”talk” to you (and everyone else in the room). You know what I mean. So I really recommend you stay close to the bathroom. These will make things move like they never had before if you aren’t used to them – so go easy at first.
Although this is not meant to be a ‘cleanse’ recipe – it can have that effect…..so……
Don’t say I didn’t warn you 🙂
- 2 cups dry pinto beans
- enough cold water to cover the beans
- 1 quart of reduced sodium vegetable broth
- ½ cup water
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or 2 tsp of garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- a few drops of liquid smoke
- ground pepper to taste
- First you got to pick through the all the beans and remove any dirt or debris.
- Then you want to rinse them thoroughly and place them in a stockpot with enough water to cover everything and let them soak overnight.
- The next day drain them through a colander, rinse, and put them back in the pot with more fresh water – enough to cover.
- Bring the beans to a boil, reduce the heat, and let them simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Remove them from the heat completely and cover them for another hour.
- Drain and rinse the beans one more time and a toss them in a slow cooker with the veggie broth, ½ cup of water, the onion, and all the spices.
- Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours. Keep watch as you definitely don’t want the liquid level to drop too much. If the liquid gets too low – add a bit more water – just enough to keep things covered.
- Once they’re nice and soft, blend a cup or so of the beans and broth in a blender and add back to the pot.
- Stir and serve with a big ‘ole hunk of vegan cornbread and make sure you got a Loretta Lynn or Tammy Wynette CD playing in the background 🙂
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