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The Recipe of the Week from The Happy Chef: Nine Bean Soup

I  went into my daughter’s room last night all full of emotion and I said with tears in my eyes, “I am going to miss Christmas. Thank you for sharing the season with me, I had a wonderful time with you.” She smiled and said, “me too.” And then she went on to chatter about her new horse books. But it was a wonderful Christmas and I always lament when it is over. It is like the end of summer for me or when a big snow begins to melt. I don’t want the beauty to end. But I have learned that things (even beautiful things) must end for new beautiful things to begin.

 It is a New Year and it will bring lots of beginnings and endings to be sure, but through it all there is a God that breaks through the darkness to become human so that we can know that He is with us and that is a beginning that never ends. God Bless you in the New Year, may it be fresh and alive and new for you all year long and into the next!

Any kind of bean soup is always a must in my home on New Year’s Day. Enjoy this most delicious one!

1/4 cup each of red, pinto, garbanzo, navy, baby lima, black-eyed peas, black, great northern and kidney beans  
6 strips bacon, cut into 1" pieces 
2 tablespoons of  butter  
2 large onion (Vidalia) , diced 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 red pepper  
1 yellow pepper, chopped 
1 green pepper, chopped  
1 chile pepper, chopped 
4 cans beef consume  
2 cans water  
salt and pepper to taste.

-Prepare the beans by soaking beans according to package directions.

-In a large frying pan, cook the bacon until it renders the fat and bacon is slightly crisp.

-Remove the  bacon pieces and add oil or butter to the pan.

-Surprise onion, peppers and garlic by throwing them into the hot fat. Add 1 tblsp salt, 2 tsps pepper simmer for about half an hour until soft and reduced in volume by half .

-In a large stock pot, add beans, consume and water along with sauteed vegetables.

-Simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until beans are tender.

-Correct seasonings. Remove 2 cups of soup, blend and return to pot to thicken.

-Add tobasco and/or cayenne to taste for last-minute zing.

By Leigh Sackett

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