CSA Week Five: Soupy, Chowderish, Stewlike White Beans with Greens and Potatoes

7 Jun

I realize that so far most of my CSA related recipes have been vegetarian, and that’s mostly been by chance, but this week, it’s on purpose.  We decided to go veg. one week out of every month during the summer and as far as our CSA and garden produce can take us.  Why the indefinite timeline?  Simply put, I hate grocery store produce.  Ever since we got into Farmer’s Markets, CSAs and growing our own, everything else pales in comparison.  If it hasn’t come straight out of the field, I don’t want it.  So it’s much easier to get really excited about eating vegetarian now the produce is starting to get good.

As I said last week, this time of year is really devoted to a variety of greens.  That being said, we were left with plenty from last week and I knew we would be getting more this evening.  A good and healthy option for greens is to pop them into a soup.  White beans compliment greens well and happen to be my favorite bean.

You might be wondering, why in the world I would think it’s a good idea to make soup in the heatwave we’ve been having in the Midwest.  The answer is simple.  I love soup.  I have several cookbooks devoted only to soups.  For a while it was one of the only things I could make, and although I may have graduated upwards with my culinary skills, it remains a staple of mine.  Bean and lentil soups are super easy to make and they are rediculously healthy and filling.  Beans are also a major source of protein in a vegetarian diet, so that being said, I was willing to sweat it out to very happy results.

How to do it:

(and please remember that when I cook, I cook for a crowd even though there are usually only two of us, so this will make a full stock-pot of soup.)

Soak 2 cups dry white beans in hot water for 24 hours or at least overnight.  Periodically rinse the beans and add more hot water to cover.  Beans make their own yummy broth, so don’t dump all the water when you are ready to start cooking.  When ready, transfer the beans and their water to a big stock pot.  I think mine is at least a gallon and a half.  Make sure there is water covering the beans.  (You can also use broth here for a little extra flavor.  I use a roasted vegetable broth concentrate to keep the soup veg.  At this point in the process I used one spoonful.)  Bring the beans to a boil and turn to medium heat.  Simmer with the lid on until beans are tender.  Mine took about an hour.  Stir occasionally and add water as needed to keep the beans covered.

Chop 3 large potatoes into large chunks.  Chop 3 baby leeks.  Don’t waste the tops!  You can keep chopping up the leek until it gets to a dark green.  Side note here- Leeks are really good if you are trying to lose weight.  They are filling, have a nice flavor and are a mild diuretic.  TMI?  Maybe, but I thought you ought to know 🙂  Chop a handful of green garlic.  Add everything to the beans, add about 2 cups of water and another spoonful of broth concentrate, or broth.  Cook for another half hour until the potatoes are tender.

Remove half of the soup so far and blend it in a food processor or blender.  I only did this to half of mine because I like my soups with some texture, but if you want something creamier, go ahead and blend the whole thing.

Return the blended soup back to the pot and add your chopped greens.  I used 15 collard green leaves and one large head of Chinese cabbage cut into strips.  At this point, don’t add any water because the greens will let out water of their own.  My pot was about half full after I stirred in the greens.  After about ten minutes of occasional stirring, I added 4 more cups of water.  After cooking for about another half hour, I added a handful of frozen dill I remembered having from last year.

Serve topped with a little bit of cheddar, a sprinkle of salt (No other salt added) freshly baked herb bread and a fresh seasonal salad.

Now you relax and let your house return to a tolerable temperature.  Or you could just step outside and realize how much cooler it actually is inside.  Happy eating everyone!


3 Responses to “CSA Week Five: Soupy, Chowderish, Stewlike White Beans with Greens and Potatoes”

  1. aurora June 8, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    I think you should gather the posts and photos about your CSA cooking into a book, it would make a great collection….

    • fdcarlso June 8, 2011 at 10:58 am #

      Eric and I were actually talking about that last night; a seasonal cookbook for Iowa, since the seasonal cookbook I have is for California or something, and totally not accurate to this area!


  1. Vegetarian, Monday thru Friday « Tomato Forest - June 10, 2011

    […] Tuesday: White bean soup with greens and potatoes […]

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