June 19, 2012
Bean soup always takes a little while due to the overnight soaking (the 1- or 2-hour “quick soak in hot water method seems to curse the results somehow, so I avoid it). However, this one’s worth it. A nice soup mix in smaller beans / peas / lentils makes it hearty but not too beany, and the carrot and tomato brighten it up. Plus, it’s got spinach in it and manages to pull that off without reminding you of grand-maman’s cabbage soup.
- Timing: Count on an overnight soak, 8-20 min prep (depending on how snazzy you are with chopping stuff), then just under 2 hours of “sit and wait while it cooks” time.
- Results: 10 servings. Very filling. Low calorie (roughly 200 calories per serving)
Summer Italian Soup with 16-Bean Soup Mix, Tomatoes, Carrot, Parsnip, and Leftover “Steak”
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp hot chili oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 5-6 garlic cloves, minced (or chopped then smashed)
- 4 carrots, sliced pretty thin & diced
- 1 medium parsnip, handled just like the carrots
- 1 container Low Sodium Vegetable Broth + 4 c water (or 8 c water and 2-4 vegetable bouillon cubes)
- 1/4 c lentils
- 1 (28 ounce) can or 2 1/2 c diced tomatoes (italian seasoning or plain)
- 1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed out and squeezed of water
- 1 tsp ground red pepper (seems like a lot, but the beans handle it)
- 2 tsp dried oregano, or 1 1/2 loose Tbsp fresh
- 1 c dry lentils, sorted and rinsed (optional)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 to 1/3 c Fry’s Vegan Steak Strips (or leftover cooked meatballs or other lean beefish item), thawed and chopped to 1/2″ cubes
- Salt to taste
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice (optional)
Soak beans (1 night):
- Sort (to remove stones / sand) beans, rinse, and then in a large bowl soak (overnight – you can also soak them in HOT water for about 2 hours but the overnight is better).
Before you turn the heat on (~10min):
- Set the spinach out in the sun or in someplace else it can thaw (or microwave it – see note below)
- Drain the beans. While you chop things, let them sit with the vegetable broth in their bowl.
- Chop the carrot & parsnip and set aside; chop & smash the garlic.
Deal with the carroty stuff (~10min):
- In a stock pot on medium heat, saute the onion and garlic until the onion starts to turn translucent on the edges; dump in the carrot and parsnip and toss around for about another 5min.
- Add in soaked beans, vegetable broth, and water.
Cook beans (1.5 to 2 hours):
- Bring to a boil, then lower heat when beans are ABOVE a simmer (at a “good boil” but not rolling).
- Cook, covered, for 1.5 to 2 hours.
Add & cook other ingredients (~20min):
- When beans are just about done, add in tomatoes, spinach, red pepper, oregano, basil, steak strips & optional lentils (if necessary, chop can tomatoes with kitchen scissors or spoon before mixing)
- Cook 20 min more or until all bean items are done
- Add salt, lemon, & additional red pepper to taste
Tips & Notes:
- Thawing spinach: put in cardboard, in bowl in microwave and cook on 4% power for 2-4 minutes. Squeeze spinach in cardboard so water goes into same bowl (you can use water for part of broth water if you feel like maximizing your nutrient intake here)
- Oregano: if you don’t do the chili oil and go easy on the pepper, you can bump this up to 2 tsp dry / up to 2 Tbsp fresh
- Serving: Plain water crackers are awesome crumbled up in this
- Based on this recipe
May 20, 2012
I love black beans, but mainly when I cook them, since sometimes other people don’t cook them well enough and they annoy my stomach, and horseradishsauce tells me if they’re cooked incorrectly on too low a heat, the toxin levels in them go nuts and they make you sick. Wikipedia agrees.
So, this recipe requires you to cook the shit out of these so they will be delicious and gentler on your tummy. Adapted (and doubled) from this recipe. We made these for Mother’s Day along with gouda-red-onion quesadillas and spicy orange salad.
- 2 16-ounce cans black beans
- 3 1/2 to 4 large garlic cloves, crushed thoroughly and minced, or pressed through a garlic press
- 2 generous teaspoons ground cumin (I like cumin)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup tomato juice or water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Put the beans from the can in a medium saucepan, with about 2 c of their beanwater, plus tomato juice if using. Bring to a boil, stirring about every 4 min to scrape the bottom.
- Continue to keep beans at a low boil for 1 hours. Keep adding water as necessary.
- Separately, fry the cumin and garlic in the oil over med-low in a pan until fragrant. Add into the beans.
- Continue up to 3 hours at the low boil, adding water as necessary, until the beans get to be the mash-y texture of refried beans or slightly softer.
- Remove from heat, stir in the cilantro and salt, top with extra cheese from the Quesadillas, and serve.
February 5, 2012
This is a nice little soup I made this morning because I only have cabbage in my fridge. When I was in Greece last summer, we ate mostly beans cooked in a variety of ways, but always with olive oil and oregano.
Since I used dried chickpeas, I had to start the night before. You could use canned chickpeas, but I find that the flavor is not as nice and they have a lot more salt.
Yield: About 3 servings, depending on what you consider a serving.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas or 2 cups cooked/canned
- 1/2 cup onion (any variety), chopped into large chunks
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or about 3-4 fresh basil leaves, torn up)
- a dash of salt
If you’re using dried chickpeas, soak them the night before in 3 cups of water. In the morning, rinse them (if you’re using canned, rinse those as well) and add 3 1/2 cups of water and the onions. Simmer them for about 30 minutes in a pot with the lid on but tilted (even if it has a steam hole), then stir in the oil and seasonings. Let it simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the beans are the texture you prefer. Consume.
March 28, 2011
It’s been raining a lot, so my vegan-for-a-few-weeks housemate Angel was in the mood for something like pea soup, but Cajun-ish. This rich gumbo-style soup is what she put together:
Angel’s Rainy-Day Cajun Style Vegan Bean & Vegetable Soup:
makes: a LOT
- 1 bag (1lb) dried black-eyed peas
- 4 cans vegetable broth +2 cans water
- 2 cubes vegan bouillon
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 can corn (or 2 c normal corn)
- 1 can stewed tomatoes (or 2 c chopped tomatoes)
- 8 carrots, chopped
- 6-8 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 to 1 whole bunch fresh parsley, removed from the stems and minced
- “lots” of cayenne and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp hickory “liquid smoke” flavoring, to taste (find this near the barbecue sauce)
- 1 “Field Roast” vegan Italian sausage (or 4-5 Yves Italian “sausages”), chopped
Soak beans overnight (or place them and water-per-package-directions in a pot, bring to a boil, cover, and set aside for 40-60 min). Rinse out cooled beans, replace in pot with vegetable broth + water, bay leaf, boillon, carrots, celery, corn, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer 20-30 minutes, until beans are noticeably soft but not mush. Meanwhile, saute onion in oil.
Remove bay leaves and mix into pot o’ beans: onion, parsley, peppers, liquid smoke, and “sausage.” Simmer another 15 minutes. Serve with steamed brown rice and / or fresh cornbread.