Finally, it is soup weather yet again! The fact that it is raining only makes it more so, in my book. This'll be an odd soup -- with bits of odds 'n' ends as well as parts of recipes. N.B. the camera was out of batteries, so there are no pics. :-(
Two of the basic soup recipes that I based this upon are Five Bean Soup from Tasty Kitchen and Ree Drummond's (a.k.a. Pioneer Woman) Roasted Vegetable Minestrone.
To begin with, I soaked equal amounts of Great Northern, Black, Red, and Roman beans in water for about 7 hours. I then drained the beans, and put them back in the pot with 5 c. of beef broth and 1 c. water. Brought the whole thing to a boil, then lowered to a simmer for 2 hours.
While the beans are heating up, I chopped off an inch on a package of bacon (so perhaps 2 slices total?), set that to frying, and chopped a small red onion, approximately 2 cloves of garlic, and small shallot. The shallot I threw directly into the soup, but the onion and garlic I fried in bacon fat before adding to the soup. I also added the following spices to the soup: 2 bay leaves, ground cumin, and paprika.
After adding all of the fried things to the soup, I chopped up four Andouille sausage, and fried them in the bacon fat as well (adding a little olive oil if it needed it). As my frying pan is on the small side, I fried them two at a time.
While the sausage was frying, preheating the oven to 500F, I chopped up the lone remaining Zucchini from weeks ago (into long quarters, and then into chunks), threw it in a baking pan, covered it with olive oil and salt, and put it in the oven for about 10 minutes, until it was all pretty and browned. Optional: when taking the zucchini out of the oven, have the fire alarm go off, and hold the pan outside the back door in the rain until the alarm turns off.
After the sausage has finished frying and is beautifully browned, remove it from the pan and set it aside (I put it in with the zucchini). Also, chop a handful of green beans, and set aside. All that is left is waiting on the beans.
After about an hour and a half, start checking the beans for done-ness. When they are soft, they are done. If they still crunch a little, leave them be.
When the beans are fully cooked, add the sausage, zucchini, green beans, ~8 oz. of tomato sauce (leftover from the Lasagne Tart), and ~6 oz. mild salsa. After mixing this all in, check for flavor levels. I wound up adding more ground cumin, pepper, and smoked paprika.
This was served with cheddar cheese, and corn bread.