A good natural foods store should offer a heady palette of beans, and many supermarkets are following suit. Beans all respond to the same basic treatment, but each will yield its distinctive character to the result.
To start, it's always a good idea to look through them for stones, discolored beans, and anything else you don't want to eat. Then soak them, and drain.
Sauté onion gently in olive oil until translucent; stir in the other vegetables and seasonings, and sweat, covered, for 10-15 minutes. You then have two choices: 1. Add drained beaus, cover with water or stock, and simmer together 1-2 hours until soft; or, 2. Cook the beans separately with the stock only until almost soft, adding the vegetables for the last half hour or so. I usually cook them together, which means the flavor of the other vegetables will be leached out into the beans. But you may want the vegetables to retain their own flavor; in that _case, add them later.
Use cooked beans in other recipes or eat them straight, garnished with sour cream, cilantro, grated cheese, salsa, chutneys, fresh sweet corn or roasted peppers. Eat them with cornbread or polenta, baked with Beautiful Beans Herbs. Enjoy them often; they're good for you!
3 cups red, kidney, bayo, pinto, speckled, black, Anasazi, or even lima or white beans, soaked 8 hours or overnight in cold water
Approximately 5 cups water or stock 1 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. Beautiful Beans Herbs
l Green bell pepper, diced
l Stalk celery, diced or sliced fine
1 or 2 Carrots, sliced fine
3 Cloves minced or crushed garlic a bay leaf
1 Tsp. salt, and black pepper to taste
Chilies, as you wish:
An inch from a serrano, ja la peno, or
a dried Ancho (rusty and shiny) will give added fire; an Anaheim (long, green and shiny), finely-sliced, adds bite and depth, but not too much heat.