Bean soup is an excellent source of protein, and is also a very healthy recipe that you might want to try. This is a delicious dish that you can serve to anyone, especially for vegetarians who need to increase their protein intake. When preparing bean soup, here are some cooking tips that you should keep in mind.
Choose carefully the kind of beans that you are going to cook. As you already know, there are different kinds of beans that you can choose from when you want to make bean soup. Black beans are popular for Latin American, Cajule and Creole cuisine and are also excellent for soups. Asian recipes usually use the red beans. If you want, you can try the different red bean soup recipes of Koreans, Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese. They all use red beans but there is a difference in the seasonings and the consistency of the soup. There are a lot more kinds of beans like shell beans, white beans, chickpeas and several others. There are also mixed beans that are sold in packs and you could also try them out if you are in the mood to be creative.
Soak the beans before cooking. Dry beans should be soaked before cooking so that it will take a shorter time for them to be cooked. Aside from shortening the cooking time, soaking also makes the beans more digestible. There are two ways on how you can soak the beans that you are going to use. For normal soaking, this will take at least 8 to 10 hours but it will take a longer time for the larger ones. What you do is to wash the beans at least four times and remove any debris. Cover the beans and get back to them when you are ready to make your bean soup. This is a healthier choice and is the one that is traditionally done. When you don’t have much time for soaking, what you do is to bring the beans to a boil for one to two minutes. Afterwards, let it sit for at least one hour before making the soup.
Cook the bean soup with enough amount of water. The amount of water used in cooking bean soup is important so that it will turn out deliciously. Whether you are using fresh water or the soaking water, you should see to it that the water is twice the amount of the beans. When cooking bean soup and you want it to have a darker coloring especially when using black or red beans, you will have to use the soaking water. You do have to make sure however that you have washed the beans properly before soaking.
Add salt and other seasonings when the beans are already tender. There are times when because you are rushing, you add the ingredients of the bean soup even when they are not yet tender. However, the salt and the seasonings can disrupt the cooking so they may take a longer time to cook and the flavor will not be that good. So wait when the beans are already tender before you add any other ingredients especially salt.
Keep these simple tips in mind when making bean soup and surely, you will make the most delicious soup for you and your family.