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Tasty Basic Pot of Beans

This is my all-purpose recipe for any type of dry bean. I put it on the stove before I even know what I'm going to make because it's handy to have cooked beans and the precious bean water around for any number of soups. Minestrone with white beans and chickpea stew are two house favorites.

Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 289 kcal
Author Lynne Curry

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry beans rinsed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, thickly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 2-inch square parmesan cheese rind optional

Instructions

Stove top method:

  1. Combine the beans, water, onion, carrot, bay leaf, salt and parmesan rind, if using, in a saucepan with a lid.

  2. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook partially covered over low heat until the beans are consistently tender, about 1 1/2 hours. (If your beans are soaked, reduce the cooking time to 45 minutes.) Be sure to sample at least 3 of the beans for doneness before removing them from the heat.

  3. Use immediately, refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Pressure cooker method:

  1. Combine the beans, water, onion, carrot, bay leaf, salt and parmesan rind, if using plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to prevent foaming into the pot of a 6-8 quart pressure cooker. Align the lid and seal it completely.

  2. Place the pot over high heat until the pressure is reached. Reduce the heat to low and maintain steady pressure for 35 minutes.

  3. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally. Remove the lid and check the beans. If the beans are slightly underdone, just leave off the lid and bring them to a boil. Then, simmer until they’re tender.

  4. Use immediately, refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes

Note that slow cookers are not recommended for cooking many types of beans containing PHA, most notably kidney beans, because they do not reach temperatures over 176°F.