Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Louisiana Red Beans and Leftover Red Bean Soup

I found a letter Irma Gremillion sent me a few years ago. In the letter, she attached a recipe for red bean soup from our friend, the late Jean Voitier, of Church Point. The Voitiers had eight children, so mealtime was something you gave thought to.

Gremillion mentioned that, every Saturday, Jean Voitier cooked red beans and on Monday, she used the leftover beans for red bean soup. I would imagine that was a big pot of beans if she was planning on leftovers. Gremillion had just done the same thing with leftover white beans, which is why she sent me the letter and recipe.

With busy summer schedules for ballgames, camps and swim lessons, making a pot of beans and turning the leftovers into a soup seems like a good idea. Red beans, or this soup, with a salad is good and good for us, even in the summer.

Just so you don’t have to guess how much to cook: a 1-pound package of dry beans makes 5 to 6 cups of cooked beans.

When it comes to cooking dry beans, you have lots of leeway as to what seasoning, vegetables and meat you want in them. I used the leftover Easter ham bone that was in my freezer.

If you have never cooked “a pot of beans,” use the recipe on the package of Louisiana beans or use the recipe below. Most people do like to soak their beans ahead of time.