Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Beans, Beans...

And I'm sure you don't need me to continue that one.


But yes, the "soup of the week", as it were, around here was simply filled with the legumes! When my mom and I discovered a bag of frozen green beans in our chest freezer that neither of us remembered buying (I'm blaming either the Kitchen Gnomes that stole her salad dressing and hid it behind the KD or the stepfather), she gave me my marching orders for that week's concoction: "use these". I love how vague her requests are, if she even makes them - most of the time she comes home to a pot of something and a loaf of bread and knows her lunch for the week is done. She doesn't ask or demand that I cook for her, and sometimes I think that she actually regrets teaching me to cook, but it's something I thoroughly enjoy doing and if nothing else is a sort of therapeutic activity to combat the nervous energy and lack of focus I have (FYI: ADHD screening = most irritating tests ever!) and gives me a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Plus, I know that even if one week's recipe wasn't her favourite so far, it takes a lot for something to be a true miss in her books. Never done it myself, but I'd think rotten vegetables or a whole box of salt would probably do it. Or okra. But generally, if I fill it with veggies, some form of carb and a protein, we're good.

So when I was confronted by this bag of IQF beans, I got the idea to take the whole "bean" notion as far as it would go. Having the arsenal in the pantry that I do, I opted to bring some colour and a unique mixture of elements to the soup by putting both "traditional" kidney beans and my favourite Adzuki beans on to soak that night in a leftover 1 litre jar. I had carrots and celery from a previous shopping trip chopped up in the freezer, and we've always got an onion hanging around... but what else to go in? 

Luckily the produce delivery at the grocery store came to my rescue! I came home with three kinds of peppers out of the 6 they had on offer - a red shepherd, a green bell, and a limey cubanelle (I'm not mean enough to give my mom a jalapeno, serrano or habanero!). In a sense, though, this soup wound up having more pepper types than bean varieties in it - in addition to those three sweet ones, I used black pepper and Spanish paprika for a total of 5! An end-of-the-line tomato got chopped up and tossed into the pot with the canned diced ones I bought before, and I finished off the bag of grain blend from the earlier Moroccan soup too. The final touch was my homemade vegetable stock, that I cooked up with all sorts of foliage that I slow-roasted first before simmering them for most of an afternoon. Heck - the veggies that flavoured the stock apparently tasted so good after their braise in "communal liquid" that my mom refused to have me throw them into the compost or garden - she's been eating them with rice or pasta for dinner!

This isn't as thick of a soup as some of the others, even with the beans and grains absorbing a lot of the liquid. I wanted a "brothier" body to float all the goodies in!

Peppery Three-Bean Soup
Serves 8
4 oz dried dark red kidney beans
4 oz dried adzuki beans
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
1 cubanelle pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red shepherd pepper, diced
1 medium fresh tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
6 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
29 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 lb fresh or frozen green beans
1 cup Golden Jewel grains blend (I found this at Bulk Barn - it's a mixture of Israeli couscous, coloured orzo, split garbanzo beans and quinoa - feel free to substitute your favourite mix)
salt to taste
  1. Combine dried beans in a jar or other container. Cover with water and soak overnight (up to 2 days). Drain and rinse thoroughly, set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat olive oil.
  3. Add onion and saute over medium-high heat until browned.
  4. Add garlic, carrots, celery and all the peppers, stirring well.
  5. Cook 7-8 minutes, until the vegetables have begun to soften.
  6. Stir in the chopped fresh tomato, sprinkle with black pepper and paprika and cook 2 minutes, stirring.
  7. Pour in broth, water, and canned tomatoes, then stir in beans, nutritional yeast, basil, oregano and bay leaves.
  8. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 4 hours, until beans are tender. Remove bay leaves.
  9. Add green beans, grain blend and salt, increase heat and cook until grains are cooked, about 15 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 275.3
Total Fat: 2.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 954.6 mg
Total Carbs: 51.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 10.9 g
Protein: 12.3 g

1 comment :

Chow and Chatter said...

great soup and thanks so so much for the bread recipe appreciate it

Rebecca