Monday, October 10, 2011

Vegetables from Our Raised Beds

Good evening and come on in for a cup of coffee on this chilly, rainy, windy day in South Georgia. We need the rain and re thankful for each drop though the peanut farmer next to us wishes it had waited several days. He had turned his peanuts up to the top of the ground and they have to dry out before harvesting. Rain will lengthen this process and sometimes they turn sour so we hope the sun comes out tomorrow and dries them out.

In the cooler weather we like soups and dried bean soups are some of our favorites. We enjoy ham and dried bean soup a lot so I used that basic recipe and used smoked sausage as the basis. Using the dried bean and peas adds lots of protein and and flavor. I have used the canned beans but the dried ones are less expensive and are more flavorful and if you forget to soak them overnight, I have included instructions for cooking them quickly. A neat shortcut is to cook several cups of dried beans, use what you need for a recipe and freeze the remaining beans in 2 cup portions to use later. They freeze really well.

The sausage I used for this is a smoked sausage from a company here in South Georgia - D. E. Lee Sausage in Alma, Georgia.
It is a family owned and operated company in a little town and the quality is wonderful. Their meats are always my meat of choice when I need sausage of any kind. I recommend it highly.

This is the recipe and I hope you enjoy it.

Sausage Bean Soup

2 cups dried beans – a mixture of different dried beans of your choice
1 cup chopped onions
¾ or about – chopped bell peppers – mixing the colors if you like
1 tsp. Cumin
2 cloves garlic chopped finely
1 can tomatoes, okra and corn mixed
1 can of tomatoes - chopped
2 cups sliced smoked sausage
salt and pepper to taste (taste a couple of times for salt – the beans will need lots of salt.)
1 bay leaf

Add whatever types of seasonings you like – paprika, smokey paprika, parsley, or others you enjoy.

I use a mix of dried beans for variety. Using ¼ cup, or whatever you have of each, different varieties makes a pretty and tasty combination. Use whatever you have to make up about 2 cups of dried beans.
Soak beans overnight, drain, rinse, cover them with water and bring to a boil, simmer until tender. If you don't want to soak overnight, cover beans with water, bring to a boil, and cook for one minute. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let sit for one hour.
Rinse beans and add to soup pot. Cover with 8 cups of water.
In frying pan, brown the sliced sausage until slightly browned and remove from pan.

Add the onions, peppers and garlic to sausage dripping and saute until wilted but not tender. Leave them slightly crispy. Add to the pot of beans with the cans of tomatoes and tomatoes, okra, and corn mix.
Stir in the seasonings and simmer for about 2 – 3 hours or until beans are tender and flavors are rich.
Freezes well and makes great leftovers.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful soup and let me know what you think about it. Make it your own by adding seasonings and ingredients to make it better and let me know so I can enjoy them too.

Going to sign off for we have just been issued a tornado warning for our area so I am going to begin monitoring the weather.

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach

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