Skagit Food Co-op blog:

The Bounty of Bulk

Lots of Legumes & Soup Bean Recipe


Organic French Green Lentils

The Co-op’s Bulk Department stocks over 20 types of legumes, including beans, lentils, and peas. Many are locally sourced, organic options, such as zero-tannin (low bitterness) organic red lentils (#7374) from Pacific Northwest Farmers Cooperative.

From garbanzos to soybeans to adzuki beans, we’ve got a range of legumes to add protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your family’s diet. A few more great choices: look for Mung beans (#7371), baby Lima beans (#7369) and Black-eyed peas (#7351). Bulk legumes are affordable. Check out the bulk foods aisle to check out ongoing sales: right now versatile organic French Green Lentils (#7364) are now on sale for $1.69 per lb through the end of March!


Organic Adzuki Beans

As always, we encourage you to buy in bulk and bring in your own reusable container, with tare weight visible (feel free to use our weight scale). Please write the bulk bin number on your container and buy what you need! Legumes are best stored in airtight containers in a cool place, away from light. For best flavor and nutritional value, use beans within 1 year of purchase.

A few tips for enhancing the digestibility of beans: add a strip of Kombu sea vegetable to pot of beans, add a little vinegar toward end of cooking, and/or only salt beans at the end of cooking.

Read on for a recipe for tantalizingly simple, yet ridiculously delicious Southern-style inspired Soup Beans. A big thank you to staffer Rosemary for some family recipe tips!

Southern-style Soup Bean Recipe

Serve with savory cornbread


  • 16 oz. (2 cups) dry organic Sunrise Valley Pinto Beans
  • 8 oz. fat back thick-style bacon
  • filtered water
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Time is a crucial factor in crafting the most delicious soup beans ever. The first step is to soak the dry pinto beans overnight. Use six cups of cold water per pound of beans. The following day, drain the beans and discard soaking water. Alternately, use the quick soak method: bring beans and water to a boil, boil for 2 minutes, cover and remove from heat. Allow to stand for one hour, then drain water.

Place beans in a large cooking pot or skillet, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, lower the heat and let beans gently simmer for 1 hour. In the meantime, heat oven to 375˚ F, then place bacon on rack with pan to collect drippings and bake for 30 minutes. Remove pork from oven and dice up bacon meat. Add bacon and fat drippings to beans. Continue to simmer for at least 2 additional hours, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper soup beans prior to serving.

Optional: serve with minced fresh sweet onion or tomato slices. Note: many folks make Soup Beans a day in advance to allow a rich flavor and texture to develop.

By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.