I can't believe how the last few weeks have flown by! I have not had time to do much cooking at all, and, obviously, no blogging! Well, I'm back again, and I've got some new recipes in mind with the holidays coming up, so I'm going to try and get back on track, starting with this recipe.
Back when I was just someone's ambitious girlfriend, and still learning to cook, I often experimented with ingredients I wasn't familiar with. When I first met Matt, I decided to try butterbeans. I had never had them before, but they looked kind of like lima beans, which I was familiar with and enjoyed growing up. Being the naiive little aspiring cook that I was, I thought they could just be warmed and eaten as a side dish. Matt was a trooper (should have written THAT date on the calendar!), but clearly I was on the wrong track and I did not try them again.
Down the road, we moved back to Matt's small-town home and his mother couldn't wait to take me to their local chili parlor. I can honestly say I was less than impressed with the "famous" chili (if you have to spoon a layer of grease off the top of the bowl before you eat it, I'm really not interested), but I was intrigued by another menu item. Butter Bean Soup. Now, I am a soup girl, no doubt about it, but I had never heard of butter bean soup. Over the years, I have come across a number of recipes for it, and this one is the closest to the real deal that I have found. Although I still don't eat the chili there, on the occasional rainy day (like today) I will run over there and pick up a large bowl of Butter Bean "With" (meaning I want a dollop of their seasoned chili meat plopped in the center of the dish for extra flavor) and it really hits the spot. Hearty, with just a little bit of a kick, its a great cold weather treat.
Butter Bean Soup
5 cans of large butter beans
1 can tomato sauce
2 sticks of butter
3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Mix all the ingredients together and let simmer for a couple of hours. Although it is just fine right out of the pot, it will thicken up in the fridge and is much better the next day. Since it started raining around 7:00 Sunday morning and is predicted to keep it up for the next few days, I made a pot of this on Sunday afternoon for us to eat on all this week.
I topped this with a spoonful of chili dog topping. The same chili parlor markets their own brand, but you can find many other varieties readily available on the market as well.