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Aren’t we clever? May 6, 2011

Posted by Peeps in Cooking, Food, Home.

If you spend any time here at all, you’ll know by now that my wife has developed a great fondness for dried beans.  As well as her pressure cooker.  The two are a match made in Heaven.

This past weekend, we decided to soak some pink beans to be cooked on Sunday.  Now, the only other time I had ever played with pink beans, they turned out okay.  And I found out that they were used in both Caribean and Southwestern dishes.  This time, we decided on Southwestern.  Oh, and did I mention that we were going to be making soup?

Unfortunately, even though it’s May according to the calendar, the weather has decided to stay firmly in mid-March.  It may be the last week for a while that soup is a good idea, but when you’re looking at a high in the mid forties, it’s usually a safe plan.
We started with a a little oil in the pressure cooker and started an onion sweating. We weren’t looking to get any color, just softened.
While that was doing its thing, we looked around to see how we wanted to season this. Way in the back of a cabinet, my wife found the remains of a jar of homemade taco seasoning. There was about a quarter cup left, and that was just about perfect for our needs. Of course, if you wanted to, you could use a packet of the commercial stuff. I won’t pass judgment.
Your spice mixture along with a couple cloves of minced garlic go right in with the onions. Stir that around for a couple minutes, until they get fragrant.
For what it’s worth, most of the spices we used are fat soluble, meaning that they release their full flavor only in the presence of some sort of fat. They will get fragrant. Trust me.
At this point we added a quart of chicken broth, making sure to get the bottom of the pan scraped clean. Now just add one pound of pink beans that you’ve already had soaking overnight and drained.
Then clamp the lid on the pressure cooker.
Anyone that has ever cooked dried beans will know that from this point on, you wait. A lot. Not with the pressure cooker. Once it had achieved full pressure, we let the beans cook for five minutes. Yes, five. Then the heat went off, and we let the pressure reduce naturally.
Once we were able to open the pot, the beans were perfectly cooked. And nicely seasoned, as well.
We used the heavy-duty Woot Blender to puree the soup utterly smooth and added a couple cups of grilled corn that’s been in the freezer since last Summer and put it away until soup night.
When dinner time came, we topped the soup with a little sour cream. The flavor was really good. The only thing I might do differently would be to add more liquid. The soup was very thick, and very filling.
And thanks to the pressure cooker, the whole thing only took about half an hour to make. How can you not love that?



1. anne - May 6, 2011

I’m interested in what brand/size of pressure cooker you have? I might like one, but there are just two of us, and I’m not sure how much it would get used. I’m seeing some pretty inexpensive, and fairly small (4 qt). Any input?

Anne, mine is a Sitram Concorde – and I love it! (I paid way less than that for it, too, several years ago.) It’s a little bigger than we may technically need, since it’s usually just 2 (or 3) of us too, but I like the size and shape of this one – there’s plenty of space for foaming, and the bottom can double as a soup pot, too.

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