Next up a version of the soup with Cranberry beans, and this became a research project all its own, for these are known by more names than I'd care to shake a stick at - in some cases these might be local varieties that are closely related but the naming gets quite confusing:
- Borlotti beans
- Cranberry beans (the ones I used - see above) - the package equates them with Borlotti beans.
- Roman Beans (Habichuelas Romanas)
- Cargamanto beans - this seems to be the name in Colombia, where these beans may have originated, but the naming is again very confused, as even Goya has one package that equates Roman Beans with Cargamanto beans, but also has packaging that calls Roman Beans Habichuelas Romanas, and then again they sell white and red Cargamanto Beans, which are quite a bit more expensive. Perhaps they are the original Colombian variety.
- Saluggia Bean, this may just be a small local variety
- Gadra Bean (India)
- Rosecoco Bean
Update on bean economics
- Red Kidney Beans were about $4/lb.
- Pinto beans were about $1.67/lb
- Roman Beans were about $1.67/lb, but I used Hunza orgranic Cranberry beans, at $7.50/lb.
- Dutch Bruine Bonen, this is from the you're kidding me, right? Dept.: I bought 5 500 gm packages, or 2.5 Kg, ir 5.51156 lbs, for $75.50 or $13.70/lbs and 60% of that was the cost of shipping. All in the interest of science - the science of beans.
The ever evolving recipe
- The soaking and pre-cooking of the beans. 1.5-2 hrs if you cook it with regulat cookware, or 10 mins with a pressure cooker - I use my Instant Pot.
- Cooking the base falls into roasting the onioins - 5 mins at 350F, in my HestanCue cookware, which is exactly the pint where the onions start to brown but don't burn. Then I add the garlic, turmeric and the othrr spices, and cook for another 5 mins at 350F to nicely caramelize the onions and blend in the other spices. Then I add in the beans stom the Instant Pot and let it go at 230F, i.e. simmering for 15 mins.
- The Veggies. During this process, I am cutting up the veggies, and slowly heating up the veggie stock (2 Quarts). Once I have them all in there, I add the base with the beans, and let the whole thing simmer as low as I can get it for 30 minutes to an hour.