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Lazy Person's Bean Soup

Lazy Person's Blazing Saddles Bean Soup
Recipe and photos by Tom Weber

I don't know about you, but growing up I used to love going to the Saturday matinee at the local movie theater near my house and spend an entire afternoon watching that week's western-themed double feature.

Those story lines that took the audience along the dusty trails of countless cattle drives inevitably ended up around a twilight campfire with a bunch of cowpokes having a hearty supper of beans.

In unison, the hired hands would complain to the cook, "BEANS AGAIN?" But they scarfed it all down and chased it with a tin cup of darker-than-midnight black coffee.

I got so hungry just watching them spoon out all that goodness that I would rush home during the closing credits and rummage through the cupboard for a can of pork-'n'-beans – It's what's for dinner!

Over the years, my love of westerns has not diminished, nor has my desire for a tasty plate or bowl of beans – straight up with vinaigrette, added to a bed of greens, or, my favorite, soup.

dried Italian fagioli del moro di Norcia beans

In honor of beans and broncobusters, I thought I'd head into my own virtual chuck wagon and whip up a pot of soup straight out of the Lazy Person's cookbook. With a nod to Hollywood director Mel Brooks, and for obvious reasons, this recipe is called Blazing Saddles Bean Soup.

GIDDYUP!

ingredients for Blazing Saddles Bean Soup

Step-1: Submerge the dried Italian fagioli del moro di Norcia (or any dried large, dark bean you have) in a bowl of cold water, cover and let soak for 12 hours before proceeding to Step-2.

Italian fagioli del moro di Norcia beans in a bowl

Step-2: Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and set on MEDIUM HIGH heat.

Step-3: Brown the garlic cloves then remove (or, follow Step-4 for alternate garlic powder).

bacon cubes, chopped red onion and cubed potatoes in a bowl

bacon cubes, chopped red onion and cubed potatoes cooking in a pot

Step-4: Add the pancetta and/or bacon cubes, chopped red onion, cubed potato, garlic powder, spicy red pepper and salt; stir frequently until the pancetta browns (about 10 minutes).

beans added to bacon cubes, potatoes and onions

Step-5: Drain the beans then add them to the pot along with the Red Wine and stir.

chicken stock added to mixture

Step-6: Once the alcohol dissipates from the wine, add the chicken stock, stir and bring the mixture to a boil. At this point, you can also add a couple of bay leaves (laurel) into the mixture to help reduce or eliminate the unwanted after-effects of beans.

Step-7: Turn the heat down LOW, cover the pot and low cook for approximately 2 hours.

Step-8: Turn off heat and, with a handheld blender or old-fashioned strainer, puree the mixture to a creamy consistency leaving a few of the beans whole for extra texture and appearance.

mixture pureed into a creamy consistency

Step-9: Pour three ladles of soup into each bowl, drizzle atop a cross of olive oil and serve with crunchy bread or top each bowl with a few croutons

BUON APPETITO!

Recommended wine pairing: Costadolio Rosato IGT – Maculan Società Agricolo, Breganze, (VI), Italy

a bottle of Costadolio Rosato IGT

This light and lively rosé is made from 100% Merlot grapes. At 12.5% alcohol by volume, Costadolio Rosato IGT is intense with fruity aromas of peaches and lychee along with white flower petals. On the palate, it's full-bodied and silky, with a lovely, lingering acidity.

Costadolio Rosato IGT

Costadolio Rosato IGT pairs well pasta and risotto dishes along with grilled and roasted fish, and LP's Blazing Saddles Bean Soup.

Lazy Person's Blazing Saddle Bean Soup paired with Costadolio Rosato IGT

Best served chilled at 10°C

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Visit other recipes:
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Clayton Lettuce - Delicious!
Lazy Person's Spaghetti con Gamberetti In Aglio, Olio e Peperocino
Sgroppino: Venice Untied
Lazy Person's Farfalle con Piselli e Pancetta
Lazy Person's Raviolini In Butter and Sage
A Penne Peppered Pranzo With Pavarotti
Lazy Person's Blazing Saddles Bean Soup
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A Splash of Venice in Every Glass
Lazy Person's "Taste the Salt" Pasta
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Hi Audrey,

Love your lamb shanks.

--- Paul, Scottsdale AZ

Haven't been called Tad for . . .gee, maybe I've NEVER been called Tad . . . guess I'm the only one with chutzpah enough to mention Bourdain. BRILLIANT?

--- Ken, Shutesbury, MA

I think we must have had an entirely different experience in the UK. (Fresh Food and Real Ale – week 1). We were up in Edinburgh and they served something called ‘Neeps & Tatties.’ The items were boiled so long that I couldn’t even recognize what I was eating. Come to think of it… I couldn’t taste them either. Later I found that Neeps’ are Turnips and ‘Tatties’ are potatoes.

--- Lindy, Phoenix, AZ

My mouth was watering as I read some of your descriptions of the fantastic fare of ... England? I had always felt smug about the lowly reputation of British cuisine as this gave us at least one country with a worse culinary reputation than America's. I guess I'll have to change my views. Your article made me actually want to take a CULINARY tour of Britain. Yummy yummy yummy.

--- Sandy Miner, Portland, OR

Thanks for your note. Thanks to Traveling Boy I get to interview a world famous chef this week who is widely recognized as spearheading the Yummy movement in Ireland. Guess I'll have to take yet another culinary tour a little further north and check it out... (I love my job!) --- Audrey

Very interesting, mouth-watering piece by Audrey! (A McDreamy McMeel). Your web site is fascinating!

--- Susie, Victoria, BC

Combining travel, food, and intelligent advice -- BRILLIANT! Your site fills a long-felt need for hungry roamers. Keep it up! It's Anthony Bourdain with reservations and CLASS.

--- Tad, Boston, MA


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