Thursday, May 21, 2015

Farro and Bean Soup


This soup is loosely based on a Tuscan soup made of borlotti beans, kale, and farro. This is a hearty bean and grain soup that's got added greens. I've changed theingredients slightly, so they are easy to find in your local grocery. But, the taste remains similar. Together, these products make for a tasty soup. It's easy to understand why this is a favorite in Italy, and why this may become a new favorite in your home, too.

Ingredients:

4 slices bacon
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/ tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup sliced celery
1 quart low sodium stock (chicken, turkey, or vegetable)
up to 2 cups water
1 cup 10 minute farro
1 can cannellini beans (or other white beans)
1 5 oz package baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
1/4 tsp ground pepper (to taste)


Directions:

Cook the bacon in a nonstick skillet. Drain and discard the bacon fat. Heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the stock, along with the farro and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until the farro is tender. Add water if the soup gets too thick. Add the spinach and parsley, and cook an additional minute, just until the spinach wilts. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Serve this with a tomato salad for a full meal. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Two Bean Soup with Harissa


This Tunisian style soup is inspired by a recipe from America's Test Kitchen's The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook. Of course, I changed a few items to ones that I had in my kitchen ... and I always expect you'll do the same. 

Ingredients:

1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped mild white or yellow onion (like Maui or WallaWalla)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs whole wheat flour
1 cup water
4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 Tbs dried parsley (or 1/4 cup fresh parsley)
1 cup peeled and sliced carrots
1 can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen edamame
2 cups chopped kale
1/4 cup whole wheat orzo
1-2 Tbs harissa
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
grinds of sea salt to taste

Directions: Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed stock pan set over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion begins to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spices, stirring for about 30 seconds, just until the spices begin to smell fragrant. Continue stirring and add the tomato paste and flour, cooking for another 30 seconds or so. Slowly add the cup of water, stirring so that the mixture thickens. Add the broth, parsley, carrots, chickpeas, edamame and kale and bring to a simmer. Add the orzo and cook until the orzo is tender, about 8 to 9 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the harissa, along with the pepper and taste. Add salt, if needed again, taste, then add more harissa until you reach the degree of spiciness you desire.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip:  Harissa is a nice blend of spices and pepper, but can vary in degrees of heat. Taste after you add a little, then adjust.