I will be riding in the back of the pickup truck which pulls the Times-Gazette float in tonight’s Shelbyville Christmas Parade. I have to be at the paper at 2 to do some final work on the float, then the lineup and judging are at 4, and the actual parade won’t start until 6. (My brother and my nephews will also be in the parade, with a float representing one of my nephews’ Cub Scout troop.)
It will be cold.
So when I was shopping for a few groceries yesterday, I picked up some HamBeens 15-bean soup. I soaked the beans overnight and the soup is cooking as we speak.
I’ve blogged about this company’s products before — and even got some feedback from the company for doing so — but it bears repeating.
The nice thing is that it’s really more like a recipe than a processed food. All that comes with the soup are the assorted dried beans and a small packet of ham flavoring (or Cajun seasoning, for the Cajun variety). You add meat, vegetables and other seasonings, which adds a lot of room for personal taste.
For example, today I’m making the regular 15-bean soup. But instead of the suggested ham or smoked sausage, I’m using breakfast sausage, just because it sounded like a good idea. I’m using a larger size can of tomatoes than the directions called for, and a little more onion, and since I am out of lemon juice I’m going to replace it with a little shot of hot pepper vinegar. I also threw in some bay leaves while the beans were cooking.
A good hearty bowl of this stuff should help prepare me for a long, cold evening.
The leftovers freeze well, so I’ll be able to enjoy this batch of soup on several more occasions.