Mixed Beans Cajun Soup

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Beans are good for you, they are healthy and they for sure make a hearty meal... But, and I'm sure you know this... there are many kinds of beans.  Green beans, black beans, pinto beans, red beans, garbanzos, kidney beans...you get the point.  Can't decide which one to cook? Cook them all! yes, you read it right.  You can mix and match beans and make an incredible bean soup.  Here's what you need:

  • 1/4 cup of kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup of pinto beans
  • 1/4 cup of black beans
  • 1/4 cup of white beans
  • 1/4 cup of lentil beans
  • 1/4 cup of split green peas
  • 1/4 cup of baby lima beans
  • 1/4 cup of yellow split peas
  • one onion finely chopped
  • one red or green pepper
  • half a carrot - minced
  • your favorite cajun seasoning, or make your own by mixing garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, dried thyme, and red pepper flakes.
  • Bacon drippings and/or thick bacon cut in pieces
  • 1/2 lb beef cut in bite size pieces
  • four red potatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste

*IMPORTANT: before you begin, you must leave your beans soaking overnight.  Just place them in a large pot or bowl and cover them with water.  soak for at least 4-6 hours before cooking.  This will minimize the cooking time.  ( or unless you are using a pressure cooker OR crockpot) for this recipe. 

PREPARATION: 

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In a large pot, place a tablespoon of bacon drippings (or half a tablespoon of olive oil if you don't have bacon drippings)- side note: I use the bacon grease from our breakfast that morning.  In medium high heat saute the onions and peppers until soft.  Add carrots, meat, and seasoning and mix well.  Let it sit for a little bit.  ad your beans.  DRAINED.  mix well with the onions and meat.  add more bacon grease if necessary- like a teaspoon at a time so you don't make it too greasy.  

Add Water- about 8 cups.  bring to a quick boil.  Add potatoes and stir well.  You can also add a few pieces of thick bacon at this point for flavor.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Once the beans are soft, you can add salt and pepper to taste.  - DO NOT ADD SALT BEFORE THIS.  For some reason it makes the beans harder and takes way longer to cook.

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Serve on a bed of rice, and top with finely chopped scallions.  Enjoy!

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