My whole life I've been soaking dried beans overnight for use in the next day's soup or stew. At this late date, I've learned I've been wasting my time.
According to Nancy Leson, all you need to do is cover the dried beans with a few inches of water and a little salt. Then bring the pot to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and let them sit for 30 minutes.
“And at that point, they’re not completely done, but they’re done enough that you can throw them into soup,” Nancy said.
Discard the water and let the beans finish cooking right in your soup at a low simmer for about an hour and a half.
“And you’ve got a nice, delicious pot. They’re not icky and mushy like the minestrone soup of my childhood,” said Nancy.
I've never tried that method before but I will soon, because I'm dying to make Nancy's Marvelous Minestrone recipe.
“This recipe is gorgeous, because you just make use of whatever kind of vegetables have,” says Nancy, adding there are two tricks to keep in mind.
First, when you add the vegetables to the pot, add them one at a time and let each sweat to bring out flavor.
“And then you add the magic golden ticket, and that is the rind end of Parmesan,” said Nancy.
Not only does the cheesy end add a lot of flavor, but after a few hours of simmering in the soup, it gets all rubbery and chewy-delicious.
And all that's to say nothing of the wonderful aroma of soup that will perfume your kitchen. Speaking of which...
"What's a soup kitchen?"
-- Paris Hilton
Originally aired February 26, 2014