I decided to pick up some dried beans, rather than canned, at the store last week. Dried beans take more planning, but I’d like to do meal planning more than an hour in advance anyway, so maybe this will help. (Or we’ll starve, but that is what Foodler is for.)
I soaked them the “quick soak” way: a pound of beans (I mixed pinto, kidney and black) under about 2″ of water in a stock pot. Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes, then let soak for 2 hours.
I drained and rinsed the beans, and then covered them in new water. When that started to boil, I put in two (very small) whole onions, skins and all. I set that to a low simmer and left it for an hour.
An hour in, the beans were not yet tender, but I added salt based on (essentially all) the recipes in “How to Cook Everything” and covered them back. About 100 minutes in, I added six blocks of frozen blanched kale (about a pound, I think), three chopped carrots and removed the onion. I also added a heaping tablespoon of garlic powder and a heaping tablespoon of ground cumin (to taste, so I wasn’t being precise). If I hadn’t been planning to share with a toddler, this is where cayenne would have gone in, but I omitted it so it wouldn’t be too spicy.
The beans and carrots were finally tender after the beans had been on for two hours. I served the stew over rice, which took up the flavors nicely. It was good both with and without cheddar cheese.
I froze one quart of the soup (I think it made about three) and kept one in the fridge. We will see how the frozen beans defrost and reheat.