Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit

Beans, beans, the magical fruit

The more you eat, the more you toot

The better you toot, the better you feel

So, let's eat beans for every meal!

My very mature daddy taught us that poem many years ago.

I've been cooking a lot with beans lately. I've been experimenting with bean soups and cold bean salads. The kids don't really eat them, but it's a great thing to have in the fridge for a no-brainer lunch or for my dinner. I'll feed the kids something cheesy and pasta-y, and then have some Brazilian black bean soup for myself. 

I've also been perfecting my lentil soup. I just typed up the recipe for a friend who started a foodie blog, but I thought I would share here, too.

Recipe below the fold:

Lentil Soup



1 bag of washed lentils

1 box of chicken broth (32 oz. Or 4 cups)

3 cups of water

chunks of leftover ham, leftover ham bone, or half a ham

2 minced garlic cloves

1 to 2 cups of carrots

1 small onion or 1 cup of onion

1 cup of celery

2 tbs butter

Black pepper

1 14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes or stewed tomatoes or 3 to
4 fresh tomatoes

2 tbs. of dry red wine (optional)

2 tbs lemon juice (half a lemon)

1-1/2 tbs of brown sugar

1 tbs. Red wine vinegar

Salt to taste; might not need any if the broth is salty


1. Dump
lentils, broth, water, and ham in a pot. Start it cooking.

  1. Cut up
    garlic, carrots, onion, celery
  2. Saute
    in a pan with a hunk of butter. Cook until the onion is soft-ish. Dump in
    the lentil pot.
  3. Cook
    until the celery and carrots are 95% mushy. About 1 hour.
  4. Add
    pepper, tomatoes, lemon juice, brown sugar, wine, red wine vinegar, and
    optional salt.
  5. Cook
    for another half an hour.
  6. Top
    with sour cream.

12 thoughts on “Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit

  1. Well, I learned the rhyme: “Beans are very good for your heart/The more you eat, the more . . . .” I didn’t learn it from my dad, but at school. I went to an all boys’ school, so this was probably one of the less crude rhymes I learned.
    What I did learn from my dad was various politically incorrect rhymes of his Minnesota childhood, some of which (“Join the Jewish Navy . . .”) may have had some East Coast currency, and some of which (“A thousand Swedes ran through the weeds . . .”) relate to Minnesota inter-ethnic disputes of no concern to the wider world.

  2. Funny that the kids wouldn’t like them. I loved stuff like that when I was a kid and still do, while I couldn’t stand mac ‘n cheese, and only came to enjoy it when I tried varieties made with good real cheese much later.

  3. Since rhubarb is in season, you should try one of my all-time favorite lentil dishes: Lentil and Rhubarb Stew With Indian Spices. Look it up in the NY Times. It was a Mark Bittman thing a few years ago. Rhubarb as a veggie. Excellent.

  4. Ooh can I share one of my fav lentil recipes?
    1 cup lentils
    2 cups water
    2 tbsp honey
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 tsp ginger
    1 clove garlic
    1 small onion, diced
    salt & pepper to taste
    Bake in a covered dish at 350 until tender (about an hour and a half).
    Sooo yummy.

  5. My favorite lentil soup, the one my husband and 20-year-old son (both usually meat-and-potatoes types) will eat:
    1 cup lentils
    1 chopped medium onion
    5 cups chicken broth
    2 cloves garlic
    3 cups chopped kale
    Bring the lentils and onion to a boil in the chicken broth, cover, lower heat to simmer, cook for 25 minutes. Remove lid, bring back to a boil, add garlic and kale, cook for 20 more minutes.
    It’s easy, has few ingredients, and tastes even better the next day.

  6. MH-I don’t sweat the onion. If you did, it would sweeten the soup a bit, which my husband wouldn’t like. You still get plenty of onion flavor–and it’s easier this way.
    The thing about the kale is that it has umami (a satisfying, meaty flavor) and chewy texture. It also has far more nutritional value than spinach. Spinach cooks much quicker, I’d probably chop it and add it 5 minutes before the end.
    Remember to serve lentils and other legumes with a grain to improve the protein value; we usually have toast or corn muffins with this.

  7. Looks delicious.
    Just to lower the level of conversation, I’ll point out that there is a second verse:
    Beans, beans, good for the heart
    The more you eat, the more you fart
    The more you fart, the better you feel
    So eat your beans at every meal!

    This is the only situation in which I was allowed by my very strict father to say the word “fart.”

  8. Each of the simple life is desired! Sometimes people can not simply live! Often feel tired! Really frustrating! So people should maintain a childlike innocence

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