Snow Storm and Bean Soup Mix

October 30, 2009 at 11:15 pm | Posted in Soup | 31 Comments
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Bean Soup. I know it doesn't look like much, but it's delicious

As I’m writing this, we have 23 inches of snow on the ground.  In another hour I’ll be able to officially say we have two feet.  Denver is no stranger to large snow storms, it’s just unique for October.  I mean Alaska probably hasn’t even had over 10 inches of snow yet.  It’s just beautiful and I love our big storms.  At the end of this post, you’ll find a gallery of photos of our Denver snow storm to get you in the mood for some soup.

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About 5 inches on the Weber

So, let’s talk about snow storm food.  Haven’t we all received  bean soup mixes for gifts?  You know the ones, a bag of dried beans accompanied by an herb mix and they’re usually cleverly packaged.  Some in cute little bags, some in whisky looking jugs, some in Mason type jars.   A few of them are pretty good, but a lot of them are pretty darn bland.

Well, with a little effort you can prepare your own dried bean mix and have it ready to go all Winter and I can guarantee you won’t call this mix bland.  It’s bursting with flavor and the secret is to follow the instructions for the herb mix.  Don’t skimp or skip anything.  Actually, I don’t think my current stash has any lavender, but everything else is there.

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Herb Mix, Bean Mix, Dried Veggie Mix

Herb Mix

To make a not quite full quart of Herb Mix for Bean Soup mix together the following:

  • 1/2 c. dried parsley
  • 1/4 c. plus 2 T. dried summer savory
  • 1/4 c. cumin seeds
  • 2 T. each:  fennel seeds, caraway seeds, dill seeds, cracked coriander seeds, sweet basil, and dried chervil (if available)
  • 1 T. each celery seeds, dried thyme (lemon thyme if available), sage, oregano, rosemary, lavender, sweet marjoram.
  • 1/2 – 1 t. cayenne pepper

Now for the fun part, the bean mix.  Take a trip to your largest supermarket with a bulk section and stroll the bean section.  Buy equal quantities of each and every dried bean you see.  Don’t forget lentils and split peas.  A good store will have some lovely calico beans, tiny red aduki, and reddish-orange lentils.  Just grab everything you see.

When you get home mix all the beans together fearlessly, hopefully you’ve got at least ten varieties, sixteen or twenty even better.  Make sure you have a container with a tight-fitting lid that will hold the loot, preferably clear, so that you can admire the beans colors and shapes.  Whole Foods has a dried vegetable mix in the bulk section.  I grab about two cups of it to add to the soup.

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About 10 inches on the Weber

So there you have it.  When the snow starts flying here’s how you turn it into a delicious soup:

  • 2 C. bean mix
  • 7 Cups chicken stock or water
  • Soup bone, either from a ham, or I usually buy ham hocks and use 2 – 3 depending on size
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 fresh Anaheim chili, thinly sliced
  • 2 T. herb mix (from above recipe)
  • 1 large onion, coarse chopped
  • 1 – 3 cloves garlic, pressed with garlic press
  • Salt and plenty of ground pepper
  • 16 ounce can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and thinly sliced
  • 1 rib celery with leaves, sliced
  • 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
  • 4 ounces fresh green beans, sliced
  • 3 T. Pickapeppa sauce (or Worcestershire if you can’t find Pickapeppa brand)
  • 2 drops honey
  • 1/4 cup dried vegetable mix

In a large heavy soup pot soak the beans in stock or water to cover overnight.  If using chicken stock be sure to refrigerate.

The next day, add enough water to pot to cover beans by 1 – 2 inches.  Add the soup bone, bay leaf and chili.  Bring to a boil then turn down the heat to very low and let simmer, covered until the beans are tender.  1 – 3 hours. 

Add the remaining ingredients, simmer, covered, until the vegetables are covered.  About 20 – 25 minutes.

Remove soup bone, shred meat off bone and stir back into soup.  Remove the bay leaves and take a potato masher and give the soup about 10 good mashes to crush some of the beans and veggies. 

This really is delicious and tastes even better the next day.

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About 15 inches on the Weber

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We're now up to 23 inches. The Weber is no longer a good source to measure as snow is no longer making its way through the slats of the deck roof.

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Marge Simpson. Oh, no wait, that's my bird bath buried in the snow with 23 inches piled high.

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Bart Simpson. Oh no, wait, that's my platform bird feeder.

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I hope Donna over at Tasty Treasures doesn't see this one. It's actually our patio furniture with snow oddly sticking to the top of the umbrella

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Why does our little dog have snow on only one side of his face?

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Pines in the back yard

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Our cheerful neighbor Miguel cheerfully making his way to his pickup.


Blue Spruce across the street, I think that's their mini van under that lump of snow

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Here comes the comes the sun, and I say ...It's alright....

Bean soup adapted from Dairy Hollow House



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  1. Ok you’re probably going to hit me, but I’m jealous. I love the snow. We can’t expect to get any here in Boston for months yet. The soup looks great, too!

    • I love our big snows! The nice thing about Colorado and our altitude, as soon as that sun comes out the big meltdown begins. It only lasts a few days. Thanks for stooping by

  2. Your snow was on our national news! I thought of you when I saw the story. We had snow this week, but man, you had WAY more than we did and I think I really should stop complaining!

  3. Hmmm brings back memories…. I have a house in upstate New York… we haven’t been up there in the snow since last Christmas…. and we too… hunker down… and cook comfort meals and soup… honestly though I really don’t miss the cold… I like the warm weather here in Georgia… in fact it was in the 40’s here a couple of weeks ago and I complained to Warren I want to move further south…LOL

    Great post and recipe… thanks!

    • 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Linda!

      Lea Ann

  4. Thanks for the glimpse of our “white hell” to come.. Ever notice people who like snow don’t get enough of it to bother with most years.. Snowbound, eating bean soup.. crack a window or two after eating… 🙂

    • Alright, there’s always one in the crowd that has to ruin it for everybody. I’m going have to officially put into effect the first house rule at Mangos, Chili and Z.

      Rule #1 No fart jokes.


      • Should have played cards with us last night- I brought deviled eggs and onion wraps… party broke up early… 🙂

      • I should have known. Your motto is “Rules are made for breaking”!


  5. You know the saying “A rolling stone gathers no moss”? Well a burning weber gathers no snow. Now get out there and grill 🙂 😉

    LMAO about the Donna comment on the umbrella picture!!!!!!

    • It would have made for a more fun blog – pictures of me grilling in a blizzard. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by Chris

  6. Fun pictures! I love the one of your dog who apparently side-swiped a drift – adorable! You guys really got dumped on. We don’t usually get that until December, but once the “storm door” gets opened, it’s a pretty constant thing for a few months. Your bean soup seasoning has me intrigued . . . so many interesting herbs and spices, it just sounds terrific! Another great post!!

    • It’s really good soup. When you’re ready to make it you just need to go buy the soup bone.

      Thanks for stopping by Vic

  7. wow great and healthy soup and oh my goodness what alot of snow!!!! love your blog by the way Rebecca

    • Thank you Rebecca. Glad you stopped by. I did subscribe to your blog also.

  8. Seriously!? You have that much snow already? Wowza…I would just hunker down at the window and watch with a big bowl of this comforting soup! Oh my gosh….snow. Slow down Autumn!

    • Seriously! That’s pretty much what I did. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. That is some insane snow. We rarely get that much here in Toronto.
    Love the bean soup and all the mixes!

  10. Gee, girl, where was your mind when you shot the photo;)

    Tall erect strong items enter my mind in that way also. Great minds.

    The soup sounds fabulous and perfect for the blizzard you are having. I am a bit envious, we havent had a biggie like that in years.

    • Thanks for stopping by Donna. 🙂

  11. OMG and it’s only October…

  12. We had a huge October storm up in boston about two years ago. It was so uncharacteristic and it snowed a ton, but then it didn’t snow again until February! So maybe that will be the case for you guys.

    What a great way to warm up, with that soup! It sounds so hearty and chockful of delicious ingredients.

    • October is uncharacteristic for us too. It was however, a lot of fun. Thanks for stopping by Joanne

  13. Nothing better than a good bean soup–especially in the weather you are having–that snow is just crazy!

    • That snow is starting to melt. It’s suppose to be 60 degrees today. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by Deb

  14. Hi Leaann, That is an incredible amount of snow, for October! Perfect soup weather and I wish that I had a big bowl, right now. Great recipe! Thanks for visiting my blog and for your nice comment.

    • Thanks for stopping by Marguerite

  15. wow thats quite a bit of snow!

  16. what? snow already? It looks so pretty and peaceful (especially if you can stay home and eat soup)

    • It was exactly that and we did exactly that! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by Olga.

  17. OMG I am having lash backs of my days in Northern Indiana! Burrr!

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