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In a small plastic bag, combine dehydrated mixed vegetables, tomatoes, bouillon granules, dried onion, parsley, seasoning of choice, garlic powder, ground chipotle (or cayenne or black pepper) and bay leaves. Seal; set aside.
Layer in a 1-quart glass jar or a 32-ounce canister or container with a tight-fitting lid the following ingredients, adding one ingredient at a time in this order: the pinto beans, kidney (or black or cranberry) beans and navy (or great northern) beans. Tap jar gently on the counter to settle each layer before adding the next. Place bag of seasoning mix in jar. Cover the jar.
Give as a gift (or store the layered jar of soup ingredients at room temperature up to 1 month) and attach a recipe card with the following instructions:
Before using, remove seasoning mix; set aside.
Stovetop instructions: Rinse beans. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine beans and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand for 1 hour. (Or place beans in water in pan. Cover; let soak in a cool place overnight.) Drain and rinse beans.
In the same saucepan or Dutch oven, combine beans, 6 cups fresh water and seasoning mix. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Discard bay leaves.
Slow cooker instructions: Rinse beans. Place in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add 4 cups cold water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand 1 hour. Rinse and drain beans. Transfer beans to a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Add 6 cups fresh water and seasoning mix. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 5 hours. Discard bay leaves. Stir before serving.
Serve soup topped with corn chips. If you like, sprinkle each serving with cheese.