I cook better than I write

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bean soup with a new twist


I checked out “The Artful Vegan” from the library and my new passion is unusual combination of tastes. I am yet to try any of the recipes from the book (I am definitely making their chocolate cake and if it will be successful I will make it for Christmas) but the images and the descriptions are stunning!!!!

Yesterday on the way home I decided to come up with something unusual. I was craving a thick, hearty soup (it was very chilly and wintery outside) so the white beans and potatoes came to my mind. But that is very ordinary soup with rather “straight” taste. I would need something acid to go with it, and something fresh ……. lemon …… peas …… coriander. And now I have to top it with something ….. mushrooms ......


Smoky Bean Soup with Lemon-Pea Coulis and Sesame Flavored Shiitake Mushrooms.

I did not measure the ingredients as I was adding them, so please rely on your taste buds when making coulis.
I have to mention that the “Imagine” organic vegetable broth is my new favorite. Pleasant sweet taste, not too salty, and no chemical ingredients at all!

Base
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, cubed
1 celery stalk, cubed
4-5 cups of vegetable stock
1 15oz can of white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 medium size potatoes, cubed
½ tsp ground oregano
½ tsp herbes de Provence (a “fine herbes” mix would work as well)
¼ tsp ground terragon
¼ tsp ground marjoram
½ tsp ground parsley
2-3 drops of liquid smoke (optional)
Salt

Coulis
1 cup of water
1 ½ cups of green peas (fresh or frozen)
3 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tbsp of chopped fennel (optional)
1 tbsp of chopped fresh coriander
Splash of tamari sauce

Sesame Mushrooms
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of toasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp of fresh ginger, minced
8oz of shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced
Splash of Tamari sauce

To garnish
Shallots, coriander, and sunflower sprouts, chopped
Coriander springs.

In a deep saucepan heat the oil. Add onions and 4 garlic cloves, lightly sauté until soft.
Add carrot and celery and fry at medium heat for 2 minutes.
Add the vegetable broth, potatoes, beans, salt, and spices. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until all the vegetables are tender (~ 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, put the peas in cold water. Bring to boil and boil for 1 minute, drain.
Pure green peas, coriander, and fennel with a food processor. Add lemon juice and a splash of Tamari sauce. Add water if the mixture is too thick (I had to add about 2 tbsp).

In the skillet, heat up the olive oil (med. temperature). Add the sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and mushrooms. Fry for 2-3 minutes.

Mash the base with the potato-masher until thick, but chunky. Add the liquid smoke and adjust for saltiness.

To serve, lade the soup in the plate. Put some mushrooms in the middle of the soup and pour the coulis around. Sprinkle with chopped shallots, sprouts, and coriander.



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