The other day, Dave and Viv ventured into Union Square to do some local shopping. They returned victorious, having cleaned out Reliable Market of their frozen dumplings, miso, tofu, and dok rice cakes. They also stopped by Sherman Market and bought some beans. Dave and I snickered to ourselves at the price - $4.15 for a pound of beans, but agreed it was good to support local agriculture. And local they are. These heirloom beans are from Baer's Best in South Hamilton, MA. They are handpicked and beautiful - multi-colored, speckled, red, brown, white, black.
Dave rinsed and soaked them overnight, and then put them into the crock pot in the morning with 8 cups of previously made chicken stock. This cooked on high all day, until around 3:30 when I added 1 1/2 cups of chopped onion, a 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup tomato sauce lingering in the fridge, 2 TBSP of lemon juice, a few shakes of paprika, salt, and pepper. Then, on a whim, I poached the elbow macaroni from the kids' one remaining box of whole wheat mac 'n' cheese (please don't tell them). This cooked until 6:30, when we ate. It was so good, we all had seconds, including Viv who, on a good day, will eat three bites of dinner.
Please go buy these beans and make this soup. You can use their directions on the back or use our minimal adjustments. It's well worth the $4.15.