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Sometimes the most exciting place on the internet is the #Recipes Diaspora Co. Slack Channel. It’s where our motley, spicy lil crew dreams up most of the recipes that live in this incredibly cookable, little corner of the interwebs. Recently, the subject was one that many people — our team included — have MANY opinions about: The. Perfect. Pot. Of. Beans. After lots of sharing (and, a little debating), we came up with a choose-your-own-adventure pot that is highly spiced, layered with tons of allium goodness, and is just down right lick-your-bowl-when-no-one-is-looking GOOD. Let’s dig into some thoughts:
To soak or not to soak your beans? We say soak! If you have fresher, dried beans that are on the smaller side, go with 4 to 6 hours. If you, like me, sometimes find yourself prepping a bag of beans that was long hidden in your larder, go with 8 hours to an overnight soak. Same longer soak goes for larger beans like scarlet runners, corona, and gigantes.
Water or stock? Our team fell on a spectrum of water only to stock is the sole way to go. You can’t go wrong here — the beans will give up so much legume-y goodness that water works in a pinch, but if you have a little stock, it will only elevate your potful to flavor heights. If I don’t have stock on hand, I will often throw in a spoonful of Better Than Bouillon (a cook’s BFF imo!).
What spices should I use? The world is truly your pot of beans! We’ve listed three different combinations of spices — with flavor profiles ranging from fragrant & fiery to zesty, earthy, with a little kick — to get you started on the journey to YOUR perfect pot of beans. Hot tip: Make sure that if you are using a really hot dried chilli, like Sivathei, that you remove the pepper halfway through cooking so it doesn’t disintegrate fully (and, so someone doesn’t get a mouthful of fire!).
Your dreamiest pot of beans may look a little different than ours, so don’t see this so much as an exact recipe, but a road map to spice and flavor — what spice and flavor is totally up to you!