Thursday, July 23, 2009
Rainbow Bean Soup
What do you do when your MIL asks you to bring dinner that evening, specifically soup, and you have very few grocery items in the house? Well, I invented Rainbow Bean Soup. That's what I did.
A quick look through my cupboards yielded beans, beans, and some more beans. I had no soup broth ready, very few vegetables, no meat, etc.
Here were my ingredients.
1/2 pound black beans
1/2 pound red beans
1 pound pinto beans
5 tbsp butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 onion-diced small
4 cloves garlic-crushed
large handful of fresh sage leaves
With so little advance warning I resorted to the quick soak method to prepare the beans.
I placed the beans into a stock pot. Then I brought it all to a boil and removed the pot from the heat. A few hours later they had swelled to full size. I drained the water, replaced it with fresh water, added some salt and simmered them for about half an hour until they were soft. Then I drained the water again and set the beans aside.
I had a big bag of fresh sage that the kids and I picked on one of our walks. [Aside: Sage grows wild around here, and rosemary is used in landscaping in many places, also we have wild pepper trees. For fun, and extra value, check foraging sites for the kinds of herbs that grow in your area and then keep your eyes out for opportunities to take advantage of this by harvesting them. It makes your food more interesting, as well as your walks.]
I wanted to keep the other flavors light to maximize the effect of the fresh sage, but we did need other flavors, beans are kind of boring on their own.
In the bottom of the stock pot I melted a bit of butter for flavor, added some olive oil as well, and sauteed a bunch of crushed garlic and the onion. Once the onion had begun to caramelize I added in the beans, enough water to cover, a few spoonfuls of bouillon, and brought it to a boil. I chopped the fresh sage leaves into small pieces and added them to the broth.
I turned the heat off and added, pepper salt and cumin to taste. Let it sit for a while before serving so that flavor of the sage can permeate the soup. If I had left it to boil there would have been too much heat and it would have killed some of the flavor.
That's it. It was a colorful, tasty soup that went really well with the salad and crusty bread that my MIL made.
image by vavau