MSG, and its less seaweedy sibling, DSG, are sodium salts of the glutamic acids found in many of the foods we eat all the time, and they make things more delicious. A long time ago, scientists figured out how to synthesize them and turn them into a powder that we can put in our food to make it more delicious. And then different scientists came along and figured out that if they mixed DSG with a metric shitload of onion powder, they could create the flavor packet of our dreams—and they did, and they called it Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Recipe Soup & Dip Mix, and they saw that it was good.
Sure, you could actually make soup with it. But instead, I vote that you cook beans with it. There’s a little cornstarch in the mix, too, so this simple pot of beans will be as creamy and righteous as it is umami-filled and delicious. Serve the beans with some bread for dipping or over rice, or chill them in the refrigerator and just eat them cold, with a spoon, like I do.
- Put the beans, carrots, and soup mix in a medium saucepan and add 4 cups of water. Look at the level of the water and really internalize it. That is about where we want the water level to be throughout the cooking process and at the very end. Focus.
- Bring the pot to a boil over high heat and reduce it to a simmer. Stir occasionally, adding water to maintain the level that you promised me you would remember, and cook for about an hour and a half. The beans will start to get tender around the 60 or 75-minute mark, but go a little longer, because I would rather have a few of the beans start to fall apart and have the bulk of them be super creamy than to have some be a little crunchy. When the beans are cooked, add the salt and olive oil, and eat!