- one cup of dried beans
- three bell peppers, roughly chopped (we prefer them sweet, so we avoid the green ones in favor of the colored ones. If you want a colorful soup, use one red, one yellow, one orange)
- a 12-ounce package of white mushrooms, washed and roughly chopped
- three tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
- one potato, scrubbed and roughly chopped (we prefer to leave the peel on, but you can remove it if you want)
- soup stock (Knorr vegetable bouillon, or homemade turkey stock, or some such)
- two cloves of garlic, pressed or peeled and minced
- ground pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- dry ground mustard, 1/4 teaspoon
- chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon
- cayenne pepper, 1/8 teaspoon
- tarragon, 1/2 teaspoon
- basil, 1/2 teaspoon
Soak the beans in warm water (enough to cover, plus several inches) OVERNIGHT. Then simmer for approximately an hour (again in enough water to cover plus several inches) – until tender. (This is one of those things that just doesn’t have an exact time. Cook them until you like the way they feel when you bite into them.) I often put a bouillon cube into the water to add a little flavor. Drain the beans once they’re ready.
Simmer the potato in water until tender; drain.
Put all of the vegetables and the tender beans in a five-quart pan and cover with stock (put an extra inch or two of stock in).
Turn the flame on medium and add the spices. Simmer for five to ten minutes, until the chopped pepper and mushroom have softened a little but still have some structure. Adjust the seasonings to your taste and serve hot.