What does one do when they’re given 100 pounds of dried beans? I’ll tell ya! My husband’s uncle gave us 100 pounds of dried beans, not too sure what kind of beans they are but I am sure that I love beans and will use whatever I’m given! Free 99 is the best price in my book! So, lets talk beans. Dried beans are an interesting product to work with. They take time and patience. You have to know that you’re going to be using them in your meal a day ahead because they need to soak over night. So, we knew we wanted to use these beans for dinner. No, not all 100 pounds! But just a few cups of beans. For every 2 cups of dried beans you soak them in 6-8 cups of water. The bigger the bean, the larger amount of water. So for these beans I used two cups of dry beans and 6 cups of water. Soaked them overnight and rinsed them off, put them in our soup and let them go for a few hours!
Here is the recipe we used.
1 split breast of chicken
1 package sweet Italian sausage
1 white onion
3 stalks of celery
1 head escarole
2 cups dried beans, soaked over night and rinsed
4oz tomato sauce (optional)
pinch of salt
In a large stock pot put in chicken breast and fill the pot with water, completely covering chicken. Bring to a boil. While chicken is cooking take sausage out of casing and brown, set aside. Wash escarole well be sure to get all of the sand off of it, chop and set aside. Peal and chop carrots, celery and onion. After chicken comes to a boil add sausage, carrots, onion, celery, and beans. I use 4oz of tomato sauce at this point in time because I like to add a little color to the soup, totally optional and doesn’t add any flavor, just simply a nice color. Let the soup simmer for 5-6 hours. An hour before you’re ready to eat, add the escarole. I added a pinch of salt to bring out the natural flavors of the soup but honestly it doesn’t need any other spices! Let everything marry for an hour before serving. This soup does take some time but you won’t be disappointed.
It’s kind of like an Italian Wedding soup without the pasta .