This is a hearty and simple soup I created using Anasazi beans and lots of vegetables. You won't find these beans in a can, so you will need to buy them in the bulk bean section at a health food store, at your local grocery store or online. If you have never tried them, you are in for a real treat. The ancient Pueblo (Anasazi) were Indians who lived in the four corners area (now Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico) dating back to 130 A.D. The beans were found in the ruins by settlers in the early 1900's.
The ancient Pueblo (Anasazi) are best identified with their substantial architectural achievements known today as "cliff dwellings". Mesa Verde National Park, Hovenweep, Canyon de Chelly and many other dwellings that dot the arid countryside, represent these structures. "Anasazi" is a Navajo word perhaps best translated as "the ancient ones".
Anasazi Beans were one of the few crops cultivated by the Ancient Pueblo. This ancient heirloom bean has dramatic red and white markings and a soft creamy texture.The ancient Pueblo (Anasazi) were able to grow corn, squash, beans, and cotton.
Beans provide a lot of bang for the buck. They are among the cheapest powerhouse foods, chock full of fiber, complex carbohydrates, antioxidants and protein. Beans also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals and are a key component in lowering your risk of diseases including heart attack, diabetes, stroke and cancer. 1/4 cup of dry beans has 9 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein.
The beans cook much more quickly than regular beans. When selecting Anasazi beans, cooks should look for plump, glossy specimens without signs of withering or disease. They should store them in a cool dry place until they are ready for use. The beans should be washed before being soaked for approximately eight hours or overnight. After soaking, the beans can be cooked in an assortment of recipes including soup,chili and burritos. Their slightly sweet flavor makes them excellent for spicy Latin American food. In any recipe which calls for pinto beans, Anasazi beans can be used as a replacement. They can also be used as refried beans or combined with other beans for rich bean soups and stews. You can also cook them in your pressure cooker.
Cooked beans will store one week in your refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
Hearty Anasazi Bean SoupPRINTABLE RECIPE
1 cup cooked brown rice
3 cups cooked Anasazi beans (1 cup uncooked)
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups zucchini and carrots diced (or any other vegetables you have)
1 Tablespoon Herbes De Provence (or use your favorite dried herbs -basil, sage, rosemary, thyme, etc.)
1 Tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1 cup chipotle salsa
1 Tablespoon vegetable soup base
2 cups water
Cook brown rice by placing one cup dry rice in cooker with 1 3/4 cup water. Let soak for 20 minutes and then cook as usual. Or you can make my Perfect Brown Rice. Reserve 1 cup rice for soup and save the rest in your refrigerator.
Quick Soak method for beans: Put 1 cup dry Anasazi beans in a saucepan and cover with 4 cups or more water. Bring to a boil and simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat and cover with lid. Let sit for two hours. Rinse and drain beans well.
Pressure Cooker: Place beans in pressure cooker with 1 tablespoon olive oil and cover with water until completely submerged. Bring pressure cooker to full pressure and cook only one minute. Remove from heat and let pressure cooker release its pressure gradually. After removing lid, keep both the beans and liquid in the pan. You will be adding the remainder of the soup ingredients into this pan.
Regular Stove Top: Add drained and rinsed beans to a pan with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45-60 minutes. When finished cooking, you should have about 2 cups liquid left. Reserve this liquid. If you do not have 2 cups left, add enough to make 2 cups.
While beans are cooking: Put onion in small frying pan and saute in 1 teaspoon olive oil until soft. Add the 2 cups vegetables and cook until tender. Add 2 cups water, vegetable base, salsa, herbs and Bragg's. Simmer for a few minutes and then add to pressure cooker finished beans or stove top beans along with the rice. There should be about 2 cups liquid left in with beans (if not make sure you add water to equal 2 cups). Between the liquid in the beans and the water added to the vegetables - you will have 4 cups liquid.
Bring soup to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.