Yankee Beware Soup

Yankee Beware Soup | BoulderLocavore.com

Today is World Diabetes Day and at the prompting of fellow writer/blogger Carolyn Ketchum, author of the blog All Day I Dream About Food, I am participating in an effort to raise awareness about Diabetes through sharing information and a recipe.  Carolyn herself is diabetic and I’ve marveled at her nimble ease with integrating alternative sweeteners into jaw dropping desserts, navigating gluten as well in the process.

Though Diabetes has touched my life through friend’s parents and relatives, its potential is really what looms larger for me.  What many don’t realize is the relationship between Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes.  Though I am gluten intolerant I have a Celiac child causing me to keep my finger on the pulse of the interplay between Celiac and Diabetes.

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune condition, meaning one’s body identifies an aspect of itself as foreign and launches an internal attack against it.  Type 1 Diabetes, insulin-dependent Diabetes, is resultant from an autoimmune process involving the pancreas.  Those with an autoimmune condition tend to be more susceptible to additional autoimmune conditions.  A genetic link has been determined between Celiac and Type 1 Diabetes.  Approximately 6% of those with Type 1 Diabetes also have Celiac.  Due to the interrelationship of these two conditions and the lack of clarity on how to prevent Celiac children from developing Type 1 Diabetes, it’s important to maintain a healthy, well balanced diet keeping blood sugar stable.

My regular readers will know I love to recreate recipes from my multi-generational family archives and I’d pulled one out awhile ago waiting to take it for a test run: Yankee Beware Soup.  Truth be told?  The name seduced me.  It is typed up on a sheet of paper with no real background to the name revealed.  It is a hearty, spicy bean and ham soup with a chunky texture I love.  Another appealing aspect, especially with regard to this post, is that beans are known to stabilize blood sugar.  With cool weather settling in, soul-warming foods on the forefront of meal planning, this recipe seemed perfect for this post; also being both gluten-free and Diabetes-safe.

I always have a selection of dried beans in my pantry, many of them from my CSA farm. I grabbed three of my favorites for this recipe: Black Beans, Rattlesnake Beans and Calypso Beans.

Yankee Beware Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 10-12 cups

This chunky bean and ham soup is spicy and hearty, perfect for cold weather. In the original recipe 3 teaspoons of Tabasco were crossed out and a warning over the heat noted. I omitted the Tabasco but certainly use it to amp up the heat if you prefer (taste first) along with selecting hot salsa. The use of Kombu seaweed does not add flavor but is known to difuse the 'digestive distress' which can accompany bean dishes (it is removed prior to serving).


  • 2 cups mixed Dry Beans, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 large yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 pound Ham Steak (cooked), diced
  • 1 Carrot, sliced
  • 1 large clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3 tablespoons Salsa (hot or mild to your preference)
  • ½ teaspoon Basil
  • ½ teaspoon Oregano
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 1 strip of Kombu Seaweed
  • 1 14.5-ounce can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 10-ounce can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, undrained


  1. The night prior to making the soup: In a large stock pot add the dry, rinsed beans and 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to soak overnight.
  2. The following morning add the salt and bring water back to a boil. Simmer one hour then add all remaining ingredients.
  3. Bring back to a boil and simmer 2 ½ hours. Remove seaweed before serving soup. Can be made a day before eating to allow flavors to intensify.

Sources:  ‘Double Diagnosis: Living with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease’ JDRF.org;  ‘The Connection Between Diabetes & Celiac DiseaseG-Free Foodie;  ‘The Link Between Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes’ AllergicLiving.com; ‘CeliacChildrenWithDiabetes.com;  ‘Children With Celiac Disease Are at a Higher Risk for Type 1 Diabetes and Death From Diabetes’ American Diabetes Association (Diabetes.org);  ‘Other Diseases That Are Common in People with Type 1 Diabetes’ KidsHealth.org;   ‘Beans & Blood Sugar’ Livestrong.com




    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Hi CJ! Thanks for popping by! I too want to read all the blogs as it’s an education for me. My Father in Law had Type 2 Diabetes which was my first personal intro and a forerunner in practice to becoming gluten free and having gluten free kids (in terms of having to be mindful and aware of foods).

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      I would too love to know more on the name! My mom remembers getting the recipe in the ’70’s but not much more. I take it to refer to the spices and warning Northeners but the ‘Yankee’ reference feels there may be more to it! Will keep sleuthing.

      I put Kombu in every bean soup or stew I make now. I learned about that a few years ago and am not sure it eliminates the ‘issue’ completely but do believe it certainly makes beans more friendly! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  1. says

    Great fall soup and lovely photos! Not sure how I missed that today is meant to raise awareness about diabetes – I have a son with Type 1 and a brother and mother with Type 2, not to mention that I devote a fair amount of my volunteering time to teaching families to eat healthy on limited budgets (Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry and Cooking Matters efforts), largely because I think our healthcare crisis in this country is directly related to our health crisis. Thanks for doing your part to help raise awareness!

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Hi Michele! This is Diabetes Awareness Month and today is World Diabetes Day. I would not have realized that had Carolyn not asked me to take part in spreading awareness. I feel it’s a bit like Celiac in terms of people’s true knowledge about it (but unless you face something personally I suppose we don’t try to learn more). That’s great that you dedicate efforts for community education. Sounds like you make every month Diabetes Awareness Month; such a service.

  2. Catherine H. says

    Thanks for participating in this event! My sister is a Type I and I may have had gestational diabetes myself, so I am passionate about eating low-carb and high fat and getting the word out to the many others whose lives would be so much better by eating this way.

  3. says

    My son was recently diagnosed with lactose intolerance, and his research has let us to think that he may now have a higher risk to gluten intolerance as well. As such, we are just beginning our research on gluten free recipes. He’s not much of a bean fan as of yet, but we are working on it! And this recipe could very well be one that makes a difference.

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Hi Kim. Originally when we found out about the gluten issue my daughter was also lactose intolerant. The relationship between the two is very common. The enzyme required to digetst lactose, lactase, is produced on the end of the intestinal villi. If a person has a sensitivity to gluten, the villi lay down when gluten is present so if dairy is involved the enzyme does not work properly to digest the lactose. In my daughter’s case, once she’d been off gluten she wanted to try to eat dairy again so we slowly reintroduced it. She has had no issue but maintains a gluten free diet which I think makes the difference.

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      It is a captivating name, isn’t it? And technically I think you are a Yankee, are you not?! Thanks again for this effort Carolyn. I learned alot and I’m sure it’s helped to draw attention and educate.

    • Katlie says

      This looks so good and nutritious! As a diabetic, I always want to know up front…what the carb and fiber content is. I understand that beans are good for everyone but as a rule they are high in carbs. Some of us can only eat 1 to 12 carbs total for a meal so every carb counts. What some people consider low carb others do not, so having this information truly is a priority for many of us. Thanks!

      • Toni Dash says

        Thank you Katlie for the insights you shared. If I’m not mistaken, beans all have varying levels of carbohydrates. One reason I did not try to break down the carbohydrate levels is that this recipe really leaves the bean selection to the cook, allowing for personal preference. Based on what you shared though it sounds that this recipe really is not a ‘one size fits all’ for all Diabetic needs and in hindsight perhaps I should have posted a recipe for this effort that required less thought for those choosing to make it who are watching their carbs. I’m hopeful you might make it work for your needs and truly appreciate your time to inform me further on the carb needs of a Diabetic diet. If not, please peek at the Soup section under ‘recipes’ as I know there are other choices that would better fit your needs!

    • says

      Kombu is a dried seaweed that comes in a package and it is in strips. It’s readily available at stores like Vitamin Cottage or Whole Foods, as well as Asian groceries I’m sure. Here are two brands on Amazon.com if you shop there: Eden and Emerald Cove (there are more too but it gives you an idea of the packaging). Hope that helps.


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