Ranch Style Lentil Soup

1 cup Lentils
1/4 lb. salt pork
1/2 cup diced celery
4 cups water
1/3 cup diced onions
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Wash Lentils, drain. Combine ingredients; bring to boiling point; reduce heat; simmer 30-40 minutes or until tender. Rub through sieve or put through fine food chopper (optional). There should be a minimum of 1-1/2 quarts. Heat to boiling point. May be garnished with thin slices of wieners or smoked sausage.

Black Bean Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 cups chopped onion (1 large)
2 cups thinly sliced carrots (4-5 medium)
1 cup thinly sliced celery (2 stalks)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 12 oz. bags of black beans (follow soak instructions on bag)
1 can (14.5 oz.) low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup beer*
1-1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* may substitute 1/2 cup chicken broth or water.

lemon or lime slices
sour cream or plain yogurt
cooked white or yellow rice
shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; sauté onion, carrots, celery and garlic for 3 minutes. Cover; cook 10 minutes, stirring several times until vegetables are very soft. Transfer vegetables to food processor or blender. Add beans. Purée until very smooth. Return mixture to saucepan. Drain and rinse remaining beans; add to soup. Stir in broth, beer, cumin and cayenne. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook uncovered 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Serve with squeeze of lemon or lime, or choice of condiments.

Makes about 7 cups. Serves 6

Butterbean Soup

1 cup large lima beans, soaked
3/4 cup finely chopped carrots (2 medium)
1-1/3 cups finely chopped celery (3 stalks)
1 cup chopped tomatoes (1 medium)
6 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine soaked lima beans, carrots, celery, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until beans and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour.

In a small skillet over low heat, melt butter. Add onion and parsley; cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute; stir mixture into soup and simmer until soup is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 cups. Serves 4. Recipe can be doubled.


Baby Lima and Whitefish Chowder

1⁄2 cup dry white baby lima beans
1 tablespoon oil
Salt to taste
3⁄4 cup each, sliced celery and diced onion
1⁄2 cup diced green pepper
1⁄4 cup butter or margarine
1 can (29-oz.) tomatoes, crushed
1 can (14-1⁄2-oz.) chicken stock*
1⁄2 teaspoon basil, crushed
1⁄2 pound uncooked white fish fillets, cut into 1-inch cubes
Pepper (optional)

Soak beans by preferred method. Drain and rinse. In large pot, place soaked beans, 3 cups hot water, oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Boil gently with lid tilted 20 to 25 minutes or until beans are tender. Drain and rinse. Sauté celery, onion and green pepper in butter until tender. Add sautéed vegetables, tomatoes, chicken stock and basil to beans. Bring to boil and add whitefish. Cook 10 minutes longer or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 6 – 8 servings.

*Two cups homemade chicken or fish stock may be substituted.