Saturday, December 11, 2010

Crockpot or Stovetop Recipe for Anasazi Bean and Cabbage Soup

(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.

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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 one cup each of finely chopped onion, carrot, and celery, and add to the crockpot.

Add 2 cups of very finely chopped green cabbage to crockpot.

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.

Stovetop Instructions:
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.)
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32 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to know the history of those beans. My aunt works at a gourmet food store in Mississippi and mailed me some that look very similar--the package calls them "Calypso Beans." Might they be Anasazi beans? They are pretty...I'm happy to know they taste good too!

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  2. Cyndi, the most fun thing was that I am making "egg muffins" right now, and I'm even putting ham in them, since I have some left from the Anasazi beans. Maybe I will post them again with the link for her recipe too.

    Jennifer, I would guess if they look the same they will taste very similar. The Anasazi beans have the sweetest flavor of any beans I know of. They don't look as pretty after they're cooked, but the taste makes up for it.

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  3. This is a very interesting recipe. Good to learn something new too. Good luck with your blog!
    Sherry

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  4. Kalyn,

    I have always wanted to try Anasazi beans - and your soup sounds delicious (and looks delicious!). I might try it in a vegetarian version.

    Thanks for a great post.

    ~Karina

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  5. Great post, Kalyn! Very interesting and the soup looks extremely tasty --- Perfect for a cold evening!

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  6. Hi Kalyn--How would you describe the flavor of an anasazi bean? I've never had one! Ah, now I read below that you say they're the sweetest beans--I'll have to try them. But beans are in general high-carb?

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  7. Lisa - Beans are considered to be a "good carb" which means a carb that is slowly digested in the body. If you compare all foods, they are kind of in the middle on carb counts. On the South Beach Diet, beans are allowed after phase one.

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  8. Kalyn,
    I'm such a goof! I just NOW (six months later) saw this post...I am so glad you won the knife...use it in good health, and thanks for donating to the cause...

    :-)

    Rachael

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  9. I couldn't find Anasazi beans, so I made this with navy beans instead. Absolutely delicious! I love your site!!

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  10. Kalyn -

    I came across your blog when looking for a recipe to use my Vaquero beans from Rancho Gordo. They are a 'cousin' to the Anasazi bean, and your recipe looked really interesting, so I thought I'd give it a try.

    I didn't have to cook the soup as long, as the Rancho Gordo beans are quite fresh (I soaked for 3 hours, then cooked for about 6). The result was fantastic! The beans themselves were soft and almost buttery. And I loved the way the cabbage just melted into the soup.

    Thanks for posting your creation!

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  11. Historical note: Comments before this point were from early 2006 to December 2007, when I updated this recipe.

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  12. This sounds lovely. I adore cabbage in soups so find this incredibly tempting.

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  13. With the kind of weather we are having now, this soup sounds ideal. The beans look lovely.

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  14. Great beans! I love multicoloured beans and just recently realised how many of them there are. Well, it is Xmas Eve here, and time for me to wish all of my blog friends a wonderful time with family and friends tomorrow. Thank you for all your inspirational work this year, Kalyn. May it be a peaceful and blessed day tomorrow where we can give a lot of joy to those around us. Have a great day.

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  15. Bean soup with ham concentrate? Sold!

    Love any kind of bean soup. Anasazi beans with their change of colour remind me of one of my favourites, borlotti beans which do the same thing.

    Wish they wouldn't as I love that speckled look, but at least they always taste great.

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  16. I love beans in any form, and reading your blog I have been inspired to cook so many wonderful recipes. I yearn for cooler weather in SoCal, just to have a pot of beans simmering on the stove - a tasty porcine product is just a bonus:)
    Now I am very intrigued by the Anasazi beans. The history of the Anasazi Indians, which I learned from my kids (they do not teach that in Europe:) is fascinating and very mysterious. As a history geek, I have to seek these beans and cook them.
    I am not on a carb-light diet, but our youngest daughter is a Type 1 diabetic, and I am constantly searching for "good carb" recipes. Thank you!
    Thanks!

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  17. Neil, so glad you like the recipe. The ham concentrate really does bump up the flavor.

    Lana, when I taught Utah history I became fascinated by the Anasazis, and I've been lucky enough to visit some historic sites where I saw ruins left by those early peoples. Glad you're enjoying the bean recipes.

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  18. I love Anasazi beans, too, and they're not all that easy to find here on the East Coast. I often order from Rancho Gordo or find them at Sid Wainer in New Bedford, Massachusetts (a gourmet shop attached to a whole sale business that supplies restaurants throughout the Northeast). Your recipe reminds me that I don't use cabbage often enough!

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  19. One of my goals for 2011 is to eat more legumes. I wil keep an eye out for Anasazi beans in my part of the world.

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  20. I've never seen Anasazi beans, thanks for telling us about them. I like the cabbage in this recipe. This soup sounds perfect for a cold day.

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  21. Lydia, Mimi and Jeanette, I can usually find Anasazi beans here at Whole Foods, although I like the Rancho Gordo ones a bit better. Glad you guys like the soup; the cabbage really is a nice addition.

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  22. Hi Kalyn,
    This recipe looks good and I am always looking for new ways to add beans and whole grains. I don't use pork products in my cooking. Do you think this would work as a vegetarian soup using a rich vegetable broth?

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  23. I've never tried Anasazi beans. I'll have to check out Whole Foods and see if I can find them here. They sure look beautiful. (Separately, I've been struggling with cabbage - I made a pasta dish last night that called for one head of cabbage. Even when it cooked down, I've got enough pasta and cabbage to last a week! The next cabbage goes into a soup!)

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  24. Tobie, that's really hard for me to answer, because it's such a matter of taste. I personally probably wouldn't like it nearly as well without the ham, but if you don't eat pork, you might like it perfectly fine without it. I can only say experiment and see what you think. Maybe add something hot sauce or vinegar to spice it up a bit!

    TW, I know what you mean about cabbage. It seems to last forever!

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  25. This soup looks so delicious.....definitely will have to try it!
    Kalyn, I really like your new blog look and using it is so easy, too.

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  26. Thanks Pam! So glad you like it. The students used to gobble these Anasazi beans up when I made them in school.

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  27. Looks good. I was thinking it might be good with black-eye peas also. Do you think it might work with lentils?
    As someone who has recently been diagnosed with Type II diabetes, I have been trying to come up with more low-carb recipes. Too many low-carb dishes amount to nothing more than fancy salads, and something a little more hearty like a bean soup is a nice change.

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  28. Bob, I think both lentils or black-eyed peas would work with these ingredients to make a slightly different type of soup. I also have recipes for both those ingredients if you enter "lentil soup" or "black-eyed pea soup" into the search bar.

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  29. Picked up some anasazi beans at a produce stand in Palisades Colorado this weekend and made your soup today - it is fabulous! Love the soft texture of the beans and the cabbage makes the taste perfect.

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  30. I tossed everything in for this yesterday and left the house for a little while. When we got back it was more of a baked bean consistency so I ended up adding quite a bit more water to get it back to soup but the flavor is fantastic. I'll make it again for sure!

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  31. I'm guessing the beans will absorb more water if they're older so maybe the ones you got had been on the store shelf for a while. Anyway, glad it turned out!

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