“I’ve BEAN everywhere, man…” the lyrical side of bean stew.

Soups / March 24, 2014

Served with quick rolls and garnished with Serrano peppers and parsley

We live in a world of excess, and the items that fit into this category are unending: Baggage, water weight, gas, even drama. There’s always more than we need of so many things. That is, except for excess space, excess tax credits, or excess sleep. Especially sleep.

It makes it worth mentioning that even when you purchase a package of dried beans, excess abounds there as well in the form of 15 Bean Soup Medley. Do they really have to shove 15 kinds into the package? Huh? Who sorts these little suckers? Is someone demoted if the black eyed peas are missing, of if a yellow lentil instead of a green one slips in? And those massive butter beans? They’re kinda awkward for starters. Where is the poetry? The meaning of it all? Oh, the humanity!!! Ahem, sorry.

While musing on the plight of medley-bean-packers, I politely placed them in water as directed – of course, that’s after rinsing out the little pieces that float to the top; of which appears to be excess ick – and waited. You see, beans need to be under water, for nearly a day to become anything. I was destined to while away a lot of excess time.

After soaking them lovingly for 24 hours, I began to become attached to my spotted and marbled orbs, and resolved rather boldly, that each of them deserved a first class cooking experience. And that’s when I knew I had to make an international incident out of my excessive bean medley and therefore created my “I’ve BEAN Everywhere Bean and Sausage Stew.” Through the combination of rather pungent and well traveled spices, I was able to blend everything in a way that just brought out the mature smokiness and velvety mouth feel of the beans. Each one, like the gem on a Tiffany necklace, sparkled perfectly alone and also brilliantly together, and became the meal that not only had been everywhere in terms of ingredients, but belonged everywhere, too.

Cumin, Cinnamon, Coriander and Paprika were indistinguishable alone, and yet, even with the few drops of liquid smoke added, they bound together so perfectly I might just take this show on the road.

Anyone know of any excess money?

15 Bean Smokey Pork Stew

Prep time – 30 + 24 hour soaking time
Cook time – 1 hour


¾ lb plain kielbasa sausage
1 20 oz. package 15 bean medley
4 C chicken stock or reconstituted bullion
3 T olive oil
1.5 C water
¼ sweet white onion, diced (about ¼ C)
1 large celery stalk, chopped
2 large or 4 small garlic cloves, chopped finely
¾ t cumin powder
1 t paprika
1 t coriander powder
1 t cinnamon
5 drops of liquid smoke
Optional: slices of a serrano pepper to garnish along with fresh, Italian parsley
Salt and pepper


  • Soak beans overnight, preferably 18 to 24 hours. First, rinse thoroughly, and cover with 2 inches water. After 12 hours, rinse again and cover with 2 inches water. When ready to cook, drain and rinse once more. Set aside in a bowl. Add the bullion. In the large cooking pot, bring it to hot temperature, and then add 2 – 3 T olive oil. Add the kielbasa, diced into sizes you prefer and brown, about 3 minutes. Then add the onions, celery and garlic, and stir. Then add the seasonings. Cook until onions are translucent, about another 3 minutes. Then add a couple ladles of the stock to deglaze the pan, about ¼ C liquid. Let it cook until mixture is moist but no longer with measurable liquid. Then add the beans and stock to the sausage mixture. Add the extra water, bring to a boil. Cover with the lid almost covering the pot. Let simmer on a light boil for an hour. (If you only soaked the beans overnight, it will need up to 2 hours until the beans are soft.) Check for seasoning and add salt if needed. Serve with your favorite bread and to people who will say, “thank you! I love soup!

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