(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites, December 2010) A few years ago when I was visiting the Ferry Building Farmer's Market in San Francisco I was happily surprised to find that Rancho Gordo Beans sold heirloom Anasazi Beans, and I've been buying them ever since. I love the slightly sweet flavor of Anasazi Beans, and when I taught Utah history in fourth grade I used to cook them for the students when we had our "Anasazi Feast." This soup recipe with Anasazi Beans, ham, and cabbage is one of my favorite ways to cook Anasazi beans. Unfortunately they lose much of the delightful speckled look when they're cooked, but they still taste great.
I cook this soup in a crock pot, but if you're not a crock pot fan, I've also got instructions for cooking them on top of the stove. In Utah I can find Anasazi beans at Whole Foods, or you can order them from Rancho Gordo Beans. You can also make this with pinto beans if you can't locate the Anasazi beans.
When I found this package of Anasazi beans in the cupboard, I had to make this soup so I could update this post with new photos.
I soaked the beans overnight in cold water in the crockpot. I recommend soaking for this soup, so plan ahead. In the morning, drain beans, discard the soaking water, and return beans to the crockpot with 8 cups of water.
Chop 2 cups ham into small cubes and add to the crockpot. I always buy a ham with a rind on it, and I add the rind to the soup for even more flavor.
Add dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and bay leaves to crockpot and start to cook on high. (Depending on the model of slow cooker you have and how hot it gets, you may want to reduce heat to low after 4-5 hours.)
After the soup has cooked for about 8 hours, I remove ham rinds and then taste to see if you want to add some ham base. I know some people would never use this type of product, but I love this Goya ham flavored concentrate, and nearly always add a couple of packets to soups when I'm using ham. (This is completely optional, so if you're a purist you can definitely leave it out and still have a good soup.)
Soup is done when the beans are starting to break apart and the cabbage has almost completely dissolved into the soup. Cooking time will depend on how hot your slow cooker gets, but the soup in this photo was cooker almost 10 hours on high. Serve hot, with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar if desired.
Anasazi Bean and Cabbage Soup
(Makes about 8 servings; recipe created by Kalyn.)
1 pound dried Anasazi Beans, soaked overnight in crockpot
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced onion
2 cups very finely chopped cabbage
2 cups ham, cut into small dice
ham rind if available
(remove for the last few hours of cooking time)
8 cups water (you can also use partly ham stock if you have it)
2 T dried parsley
1-2 T garlic powder
2-3 tsp. onion powder
2-3 bay leaves
fresh ground black pepper to taste
ham flavored concentrate or ham bouillon (optional but good)
balsamic vinegar for serving, optional
I used a 4.5 quart crock pot to make the soup in these photos, and it was filled to the brim (including the ham rinds) so if you have a smaller size you will need to reduce the recipe.
Soak beans overnight in cold water in the crockpot. The next morning, drain beans, discard soaking water, and put beans back in the crockpot with 8 cups water (or a combination of water and ham stock if you have it.) Cut up celery, carrots, onions, cabbage, and ham. Put all ingredients in crock pot (including ham rind if you're lucky enough to have some) with dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and bay leaves, and start to cook on high. (It may look like there isn't enough liquid, but in the crock pot foods give up liquid and you end up with more than you started with.)
(I cook this soup on high for 10 hours or longer, until about half of the beans have disintegrated into the soup and the cabbage is mostly dissolved. My large crock pot is the original "slow-cooker" type, which may cook a bit less hot than some. If you have a newer model, you might want to cook on high 4-5 hours, then reduce to low.)
After about 8 hours, remove ham rind if using, then taste for seasoning and ham bouillon or ham flavor concentrate if needed. (I like Goya Ham Flavor Concentrate or ham buillon from Penzeys. Use of this is optional, and will depend on how much flavor is in your ham. If you have really good ham you might not need it.) I often add more garlic powder and onion powder at this time too.
Cook until beans are starting to break apart and the cabbage has mostly dissolved into the soup. Serve hot, with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar if desired. This soup freezes well.
You could cook this on the stove if you don't have a crock pot or want it done sooner. For stovetop cooking, add all ingredients to heavy soup pot and simmer about 3 hours, or until beans are very well done and cabbage has disintegrated into the soup. I would increase the amount of water I started out with by several cups if I cooked it on the stove, since some of the liquid will evaporate. Check for seasoning after a few hours, and add more ham buillon, garlic powder, and onion powder as desired.
South Beach Suggestions:
Dried beans are considered a "good carb" on the South Beach Diet, but you'd have to leave out the carrots for this soup to be approved for phase one. If you do that, remember that serving sizes are limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup of beans for phase one, so have a small serving of soup with something like Crunchy Chopped Salad with Gorgonzola and Radishes. For phase two or three, you could add some toast (to dip in the soup) made with South Beach Diet friendly bread.
More Soup with Dried Beans:
(Recipes from other blogs may not be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Chicken, Black Bean and Cilantro Soup from Kalyn's Kitchen
Italian Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard from Kalyn's Kitchen
Bailout Bean Soup from The Perfect Pantry
Calico Bean Soup from A Year of Slow Cooking
Ham and Bean Soup from Seriously Good
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blog using Food Blog Search.)