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Category : Beans and Grains
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1/4 cup baby lima beans

1/4 cup small white beans

1/4 cup black-eyed beans

1/4 cup garbanzo beans

1/4 cup pink beans

1/4 cup light red kidney beans

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup onion -- chopped

1 cup celery -- chopped

1 cup carrot -- chopped

1/2 cup green bell pepper -- chopped

1/2 cup dried parsley -- minced

1 garlic clove -- crushed, minced

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 envelopes chicken noodle soup mix -- 2 ounces each

1/2 bay leaf -- crumbled

1/2 teaspoon fines herbes

1 cup tomato -- chopped

Parmesan cheese -- grated

To soak beans: For each pound of dry beans, any variety, add 10 cups hot water. Up to 2 teaspoons of salt per pound of beans may be added to help the beans absorb water more evenly. Heat to boiling, let boil 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for at least one hour, but preferably four hours or more. The longer soaking time is recommended to allow a greater amount of sugars to dissolve, thus helping the beans to be more easily digested. Always discard the soak water. To maintain color integrity, soak beans separately. Drain beans. Cook onion, celery, carrot, green pepper, parsley and garlic in butter until soft. Combine cooked vegetables with soup mix, 2 quarts water, bay leaf, fines herbes and soaked beans. Simmer, covered, about 1 hour to desired tenderness. Add tomato. Serve hot, sprinkled with cheese. Note: 1 cup canned tomatoes may be used in place of the fresh tomatoes.

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