I have cooked beans on and off for years: borlotti beans, chickpeas, split peas, lentils, kidney beans and white beans have all been cooked in my kitchen.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a bean I had never seen before, lupini beans. I liked the squarish shape of the beans and bought a pack. I expected them to be like all the other beans but a cuter shape. (My kids have mocked me mercilessly for buying beans on the basis of shape so if you think it's odd, you are not alone)
On Friday night I soaked the whole pack (a kilo pack) and on Saturday I started boiling them. Like I said, I expected them to be the same as all the others: soak, boil, strain, add to recipe and eat.
After simmering for an hour or so they weren't even close to softening. "Hmmm, these beans need a bit more cooking than I expected"
I decided on a quick google search. Lucky I did.
Lupini beans are full of alkaloids and are poisonous if not prepared correctly.
Soak, boil, soak in brine, change brine daily, repeat for fifteen days.
Apparently they are loved in Europe and eaten as a snack with a beer (think a handful rather than a bowl full or a little goes a long way).
I now have what was a kilo of beans, rehydrated it's more like five or six, sitting on my kitchen bench in brine. In twelve more days I'll have more brined beans than I know what to do with.
If I didn't laugh I would cry.
If you like lupinis and are in Sydney, you are welcome to a jar (or six)