*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                          WESTERN BEAN SOUP ROMANO
 Recipe By     : 
 Serving Size  : 8    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Soups                            Vegetables
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
      1/2   lb           Mixed white and colored
    1                    Clove garlic, minced
      1/2   c            Chopped onion
    1       tb           Olive oil
    2       qt           Beef broth or stock
    1       t            Oregano, crushed
    1       cn           (8 oz) tomatoes, crushed
      2/3   c            Julienne-cut carrots
      1/2   c            Julienne-cut celery
    1 2/3   c            Bite-sized pieces of
                         -spinach, loosely packed
      1/2   c            Small cooked shell pasta
      1/2   c            Grated Romano cheese
   Sort, rinse and soak beans by preferred method
   (described below). To maintain color integrity, soak
   white and colored beans separately. Saute garlic and
   onion in oil.  Add drained beans, broth and oregano.
   Simmer, covered until beans are tender.  Add tomatoes,
   carrots and celery. Simmer for 15 minutes longer.
   Stir in spinach and pasta; adjust seasoning with salt.
   Simmer for 5 minutes or only until thoroughly heated.
   Makes 8 servings; about 2 quarts.
   A bag of bean tricks to help you buy, soak, cook &
   store dry beans.
   Canned beans do not require additional cooking since
   they have been thoroughly cooked in the canning
   process, but there are several ways of preparing dry
   beans for cooking.  All start with a thorough
   inspection for damaged beans and foreign material,
   then washing in cold water.  The next step, which is
   highly recommended, is soaking the beans.  This not
   only helps make the beans cook faster, it also
   improves flavor, texture, appearance and
   digestibility.  For maximum improvement of these
   factors, it is recommended that the soak water be
   discarded and the beans rinsed and cooked in fresh
   SOAKING TIPS: Hot-soak (preferred) and Quick-soak
   For every pound of dry beans, any variety, add 10 cups
   of hot water. Remember beans will rehydrated to at
   least twice theri dry size, so be sure to start with a
   large enough pot.  (Note:  up to 2 teaspoons of salt
   per pound of beans *may* be added to help the beans
   absorb water more evenly.) Heat to boiling, let boil
   for 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover and set
   aside for at least 1 hour (quick-soak method), but
   *preferably* four hours or more.  The longer soaking
   time is recommended to allow a greater amount of the
   gas-causing properties to dissolve in the water, thus
   helping the beans to be more easily digested and
   lessening the aftereffects. Whether you soak the beans
   for an hour or several hours, remember to DISCARD THE
   COOKING TIPS: (for each pound of dry beans)
   Standard method:  Drain and rinse soaked beans; put
   into a good- sized kettle.  Add 6 cup of hot water, 1
   to 2 Tablespoons shortening and 2 teaspoons salt.
   Boil gently with lid tilted until desired tenderness
   is reached.
   Savory Method:  Use standard method (above), but use 2
   teaspoons onion salt and 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
   instead of plain salt.  Add 1 Tablespoon chicken stock
   base or 3 to 4 bouillon cubes and 1/4 teaspoon white
   * Simmer beans slowly.  Cooking too fast can break
   * Acid slows down cooking.  Add tomatoes, vinegar,
   etc. last.
   * Add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (no more) per
   pound of beans whe cooking in hard water to shorten
   cooking time.
   * At high altitudes, beans take longer to cook.  A
   pressure cooker helps, but follow manufacturer’s
   directions.  [Personal note:  Tom says 1/2 hour in the
   pressure cooker at 15 lbs pressure is equivalent to
   cooking them overnight.  Don't put too many beans in
   the pressure cooker, as they expand:  you don't want
   to plug up the vent hole.)
   * Refried beans are made from freshly cooked pinto,
   pink, red or kidney beans, mashed and cooked in a
   skillet with bacon drippings, lard, oil, butter or
   [ California Dry Bean Advisory Board ]
   Posted by Shelley Rodgers. Courtesy of Fred Peters.
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