On Mondays, we eat red beans. This is one of the many lessons I learned while working for Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans. Supposedly this tradition comes from Monday also being laundry day, which was a long grueling task before washing machines. People needed a meal that was hearty, yet did not require much attention. You could throw whatever meat bones you had leftover from Sunday dinner into a pot of red beans and let them simmer for hours, undisturbed.
This recipe is an ode to my love of red beans. I grew up with my mom making red beans, but she would also make a 15 bean soup in a similar manner. The method and ingredients are the same I would use for red beans, but I just like the variety sometimes. Red beans are an even cheaper option.
All September long we have been acknowledging Hunger Action Month on True Food Katie. If you’d like to learn more about Hunger Action Month and how you can get involved, here is a link to my previous post. You can also find the post containing my favorite 7 grocery budgeting tips here.
This meal is filling, provides a ton of fiber, and when paired with rice, provides a complete protein to get you fueled for your day. It also happens to be dirt cheap. You can make this big pot of beans for about $6 that will last several days. I like to use andouille sausage, but if you have leftover bones, particularly ham bones, you can use those as well to flavor the beans. Sausage is not required, but highly recommended. If you don’t use sausage, your cost is less than $3.
These beans can be made on the stove top, in the slow cooker, or in the instant pot. I love all of these methods. There is something very soothing to me about having a big pot of beans simmering on the stove, making the whole house smell delicious. I have included instructions for making them in the instant pot, but to make on the stove, simply saute veggies as listed, and then simmer beans on low for 2-3 hours before continuing with the rest of the instructions.
Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz andouille smoked sausage, sliced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
15 bean soup mix (I prefer Hurst’s Hambeens mix)
8 cups water or broth
- If possible, soak beans overnight in a large pot of water.
- Add all vegetables and sausage to the instant pot along with enough avocado oil to cover the bottom of the pot. Saute on low for 5 minutes or until onion is soft and translucent.
- Add broth or water, beans, and seasoning* (throw away packet that comes with the beans) to pot. Set instant pot to the bean setting or manual pressure cook setting and cook for 30 minutes. Use quick release.
- Mash about half of beans with a potato masher until your soup starts to thicken.
- Saute on low until you acquire a nice thick bean mixture (2-3 minutes). If there is more of a soupy texture, you can drain some of the liquid.
- Serve over rice.
*Note: if you prefer a more mild dish, leave out the red chili flake and white pepper.