(Baked) Bean Soup

Some things I haven’t always known about canned baked beans:

Number one: most are gluten-free. I would say all, but one never knows what someone will slip in when they can.

Number two: cousins in the UK promise us that they are pretty darned terrific on baked potatoes. I remain unconvinced.

Number three: they make a damned fine base for a soup.

•1 tbsp olive oil
•1 cup diced celery
•1 cup diced carrots
•1 cup shredded cabbage
(from a coleslaw bag)
•1 cup corn kernels, cut from 2 ears (optional)
•2 cups diced onion
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
•1 lb cooked ham, diced
•28 oz can baked beans
•14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
•1 cup unsalted chicken stock
•1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
•Feta cheese, crumbled

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Note: the original recipe, from the nice folk at food.com, called for using vegetable stock, but my default has always been a good, unsalted chicken stock. If you are looking to make a vegetarian soup, by all means go with the veggie stock and skip the ham.

Add the oil to a large pot over medium heat.

Add the celery, carrots, onion, cabbage, and garlic and toss to coat, then cook for five minutes or so.

Stir in the Sherry Peppers Sauce and the ham and cook for another five minutes.

Pour in the chicken stock, scraping up any crusty bits that may have formed on the bottom and sides of the pan.

Stir in the can of baked beans, the (undrained) can of tomatoes, the Worcestershire sauce, and the chopped parsley.

If you have recently made my grilled or roasted corn, and then cut the kernels off of extra ears – now would be a good time to chuck the remaining, shorn ears of corn into the pot as well.

Simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring when you think to.

Remove the corn cobs from the pot and serve as you will.

We thoroughly enjoyed ours with crumbled Feta cheese on top and Garlic Butter Crescents on the side – this time made with leftover spiced butter from the corn.

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