Cozy Beans and Grains Soup
Serves: 6 to 8
The bulk bins at PCC hold a virtual rainbow of options for this warming, wintry soup. The steps are simple and the results are economical, beautiful and oh so satisfying!
- 2 cups beans and grains (see "Perfect Beans and grains for this recipe" in Preparation) Add to list
- 2 tablespoons higih-heat oil Add to list
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped Add to list
- 2 carrots, chopped Add to list
- 2 ribs celery, chopped Add to list
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped Add to list
- 1 tablespoon dried herb blend or 1 tablespoon each finely chopped fresh thyme, rosemary and sage Add to list
- 1 cup chopped root vegetables, such as parsnips, turnips or celeriac (optional) Add to list
- 8 cups flavorful stock (chicken, vegetable, mushroom, etc.) Add to list
- 1 smoked turkey thigh or leg (optional) Add to list
- Spike seasoning, to taste Add to list
- Salt and pepper, to taste Add to list
- Hot sauce, to taste Add to list
Soak beans using one of the methods listed below. I prefer the overnight method.
In a heavy soup pot, heat oil over medium heat and add onions, carrots, celery, garlic and herbs. You may also add a cup of chopped root vegetables at this stage. Cook for about 5 minutes. Pour in stock and add beans and turkey thigh. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 to 50 minutes or until the beans are very tender.
Season with Spike seasoning, salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Remove turkey thigh and let it cool a bit. Strip the meat, chop it into bite sized pieces and add it back to the soup.
FAVORITE BEANS AND GRAINS FOR THIS RECIPE
From the bulk department at PCC choose a variety of beans and grains. You will need 2 cups total to make a pot of soup. Plan ahead, since you will need to soak the beans and grains, preferably overnight.
Choosing beans for this soup
On the show we used black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, adzuki beans, black-eyed peas, white wheat berries, mung beans and kidney beans, but the options are vast and you may choose any combination that your imagination dictates.
Quick-soaking method — Rinse beans and remove any rocks or residue. Combine them with 8 cups water in a large pot. Bring to a rapid boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain the beans and rinse.
Overnight-soaking method — Rinse beans and remove any rocks or residue. Combine them with 8 cups water in a large bowl. Let stand overnight or at least 6 hours. Drain beans and rinse.
Perfect grains for this soup
- Wheat berries (any kind)
- Buckwheat (raw or toasted)
- Barley (any kind)
- Wild rice
- Brown rice (short or long grain)
- Whole oats
- Bluebird Farms Potlatch Pilaf (a blend of cracked emmer and wild rice)
A fun idea for gift giving
Choose 1 1/2 cups each of 8 kinds of beans and/or grains for a total of 12 cups. Using the recipe above, each jar will contain about 2 cups of beans and/or grains, and will make about 6 jars of bean soup mix.
Combine beans and grains, or layer them in pint jars with rims and lids. Make herb packets with 1 tablespoon of your favorite dried herb blend and tuck them into cloth tea bags (available in the bulk tea section at PCC) or in squares of cheesecloth tied with twine. Tie them to the jar with a little gift card with the recipe printed on it.
Recipe by, PCC Chef
Source: Demonstrated on KING 5's "Gardening with Ciscoe" show, which aired on October 20, 2012.