13-Bean Soup with Chicken Meatballs

13-bean soup is a soup that I’ve been making for over 2-years … but I primarily make it for myself in the fall/winter months because that’s when I enjoy soups/stews the most.  Every time I have made the soup, I change up the flavoring a bit and incorporate different meats into it (chicken sausage, chicken meatballs, diced ham) but this last batch of soup has been the best I have made.
The one thing about this soup is that after it’s put into containers in the refrigerator the bean tend to swell up further and retain the water, so I add additional water to the serving to thin it out as much as I’d like.  I find I enjoy it best the way I make it (by not soaking the beans overnight) because it allows my soup to be on the thicker side.  After the second day I tend to put the entire batch of soup back into a soup pot and add in some boiled Jamaican dumplings. It gives it a bit more body and just makes it feel a little homier.
Serves 17. 1 cup serving. 5 Points Plus Values.
Ingredients:
  • 29 oz. Bob’s Red Mill 13-Bean Soup Mix
  • 1 pack Al Fresco Tomato & Basil Chicken Meatballs (16 meatballs), cut into smaller chunks
  • 20 cups water, plus additional when cooking
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 pound baby carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 packet Goya Sazon Seasoning
  • 3 packets Goya Ham Flavored Concentrate
  • 1 pod Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock
  • 2 packets Swanson Beef Flavored Concentrate
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
Empty bag of beans into a bowl and rinse. Place beans into a big soup pot and cover with water, leaving about 2 inches of liquid above the beans. Place pot onto an open flame and bring to a rumbling boil then cook for 30 minutes.  When done strain the liquid from the beans using a colander.
Spray the bottom of soup pot with non-stick cooking spray. Add in onions, celery and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add beans and water to the pot, and then stir in chopped carrots. Add in salt and black pepper.
Cover and let the mixture gently boil together for roughly an hour. Stir the mixture occasionally, keeping an eye on the water as it will evaporate and the beans will soak up some of the water.  Add 1 cup of water at a time, as needed.
Sprinkle soup with sazon and ham concentrate, stir in. Add in 2 packets of Swanson beef concentrate and gently stir in the Knorr homestyle chicken stock (make sure it melts completely).
Gently incorporate the chopped up chicken meatballs and stir to combine. Cover and allow to gently boil for an additional hour, until beans are softened and no longer hard/crunchy.
If the soup liquid starts to get low, add in 1 cup of water at a time.

Homemade Beef Stew w/ Jamaican Dumplings

This is my first-ever homemade beef stew.  Growing up I used to watch my mother make beef stew so I had a general gist of what to do – so I went to the grocery store, picked up my veggies, my beef and I got a jar of beef stock (it’s like a really thick jelly consistency of flavored stock that you add to water).  I’d been craving beef stew because the weather had changed and all I wanted was something warm and something to make the kitchen smell “homey.”
One thing I will say is I like my stews thick.  I’m not really a soup person so stews are right up my alley.  I know everyone varies with thickness but thankfully my boyfriend also likes a moderately thick stew so I didn’t have to make this on the watery side.  This cooked for a fair while on the stove (a little over 3 hours) so it’s definitely not one of those meals you can just throw together in a flash – but undoubtedly it was delicious!
I used 2 tablespoons of olive oil to brown my beef, and then added 2 pounds of lean stew beef and let it brown up stirring it around in the pot.  I then added in my minced garlic.  When it was almost completely browned I threw in my large diced onion.  When done, I added in water (just eyeballing since I was making a big pot).  I added in my beef starter stock – covered and let simmer for an hour and a half.  After that I uncovered the pot, added in 2 pounds of chopped potatoes and a large bag of baby carrots.  While that came back up to simmer I made my Jamaican dumplings (flour, salt and water where you knead it into a harder rough – then rolled the pieces out in the bowl and then added them into the stew.  I covered it and let it cook for another near hour.
Ten minutes before serving I added in 1/3 cup cornstarch (mixed with cold water) and stirred it to have it thicken up to a delicious and perfect consistency.
Overall TWO thumbs up!  This was SO good!  What’s funny is my boyfriend didn’t know I was going to add Jamaican dumplings to the dish so when he was served his bowl and he spotted the dumplings he went “Awe, yeah!” HAHA.  We ate it for a few days, then frozen up the remainder into separate containers for quick dinners/lunches when we don’t have any idea as to what to eat.