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Calico Bean Soup with Corn Bread
by Jes Mostek

(1 rating)
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Calico Bean Soup
by Jes Mostek
serves: 10
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  According to American tradition, when you eat this nutrient-packed soup on New Year's Day, it is supposed to bring you good luck in the New Year. I can guarantee that it'll bring you good luck for at least another day because this recipe makes enough soup for a second meal.

And fortunately most people have the day off from work on New Year's Day because it takes about 4 hours to make this soup. You could make this soup in the crock pot if you have to be away from home for the day, but be sure to leave out the kidney beans if you need to do that, as under-cooked kidney beans have a toxin that could bring on an uncomfortable stomach ache.

You can reduce the cook time of the soup to 2 hours if you soak the beans in water overnight.

For the dry beans, I recommend a mixture of black-eyed peas, black beans, lima beans, small white beans, red beans, and dark and light kidney beans. To make it easy on yourself, buy a 1 pound bag of mixed beans.
  2 c.   dry beans
  6 c.   water
  2 T.   olive oil
  1   lemon
  1 med.   onion
  1 (15 oz.) can   diced tomatoes
    ham bone, bacon, or diced ham
  2   bay leaves
  1/2 tsp.   seasoned salt
  1/4 tsp.   black pepper
  1/2 tsp.   garlic powder
  1/2 tsp.   tarragon (or parsley)
  1/4 tsp.   crushed red pepper (or a pinch of cayenne)
  Combine dry beans, water and olive oil in a large stock pot. Heat on high until water reaches a boil. Reduce to simmer and note the time, as you'll want to cook the soup for a total of 4 hours.

Meanwhile, juice and zest the lemon and chop the onion. Add the lemon juice and zest, the chopped onion and the can of tomatoes (and liquid) to the soup.

Next, add a package of diced ham, or a ham shank/bone. If you want to use bacon, I've found that it tastes best fried and crumbled over the top of a bowl of cooked soup.

Serve with optional sour cream or yogurt. Be sure to remove the bay leaves from the soup before serving.

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