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Dec 31, 2013 05:23 PM

LEGUME SOUPS - Home Cooking Dish of the Month for January 2014

Whew, am I glad my first month as coordinator is over and we have chosen a dish to cook in January :) Welcome to the first DOTM of the New Year and let’s hope that it will be a great year for everyone in all aspects of our lives.

Soup is a perfect idea for a freezing month and stick-to-the-bone legume soups are very comforting and soul-warming. There are so many possibilities: smooth and chunky, meat based and vegetarian, Indian dhals and rasams, Moroccan harriras, peanut soups of Africa, and a personal favourite: Persian meatball soup that has a few legumes as a base and tiny lamb meatballs as a garnish.

Everyone is welcome to participate; you can join in at any time, and start cooking and posting. You are also welcome to post on the threads for the past DOTM. Please share your recipes, your techniques, your outcomes, and of course, your photos!

When reporting on a recipe, please remember to paraphrase if it is not your own and feel free to post a link if a recipe is on the internet. Verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author and posts with copied recipes will be removed.

To view links to previous DOTM, please click here:

To view the nomination thread, please click here:

To view the voting thread, please click here:

Happy cooking!

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  1. I took out of freezer a piece of flanken to use in my legume soup I will be preparing later this morning.

    this link to bean cookery books might be helpful

    2 Replies
    1. re: jpr54_1

      Thank you for linking the thread! Lost of praise there for ben by Bean by CD. I took it out of the library recently - well done book but I have not cooked anything yet.

      Looking forward to your report on the soup :)

      1. re: herby

        Wow, bad-bad spelling yesterday...

        I meant to say: Bean by Bean by Crescent Dragonwagon has lots of praise on the 'bean' thread that jpr54_1 linked.

    2. if I add flanken(beef short ribs) to the legumes-does the soup become a stew?

      4 Replies
      1. re: jpr54_1

        I do not think so; it depends on how you make the dish. In your case it will be bean soup with short ribs as sort of a garnish, correct?

        Here are definitions that I took from Wikipedia:

        Soup is a primarily liquid food made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables with liquid.
        Stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy.

        1. re: jpr54_1

          my soup is on the stove-
          i used a package of beans from Israel called cholent beans-
          the beans were as identified red and white.
          I added onion, green pepper, mushrooms, roma tomatoes.
          garlic, s/p

          noun: cholent; plural noun: cholents

          a Jewish Sabbath dish of slowly baked meat and vegetables, prepared on a Friday and cooked overnight.

          i am going to cook the soup on stove for 3 hours.

          1. re: jpr54_1

            I always think of cholent (or its Sephardic cousin dafina) as a stew, though I'm sure you could make it soupy. But it is the main dish of the meal while observing the Sabbath.

            Do you add barley to your cholent?

        2. It's not necessary to set your goal as a legume soup. You can add cooked white beans to any number of pureed or creamed soups. It helps to either use rinsed, drained canned beans or to somewhat overcook your dried beans. They make - for example - a cream of tomato soup considerably thicker but for winter that's not a problem. If you want it uniformly smooth you can run the cooked beans through a food mill but I prefer the slight texture from the skins that remains if you just puree the finished soup.

          1 Reply
          1. re: greygarious

            Made corn chowder with bacon the other day, including navy beans instead of potato. I like white beans as the starch in Manhattan clam chowder too, but tradition holds sway with me when it comes to clam/seafood chowder - gotta be potato then.

          2. I make a chick pea soup with a vegetable stock base seasoned with Harissa. Very simple and warming.
            It really benefits from dried not canned chickpeas if you have time.

            1 Reply
            1. re: magiesmom

              completely agree with magiesmom about the superiority of using dried legumes rather than canned which, to my palate, taste tinny and/or like plastic.

              i make a curried vegetable soup that uses a combo of green lentils, red lentils, yellow split peas, frozen english peas and shelled edamame for protein source.
              kale, carrots, celery, onion, tomatoes, for the vegetables.

            2. My favorite is a navy bean soup with a ham bone and escarole, laced with evoo on the top.

              18 Replies
              1. re: treb

                I like the idea of adding escarole (or spinach). Wish I had a ham bone......

                1. re: coll

                  I often make pea soup with smoked turkey thigh instead of ham. I dice the meat and put the bone in together with peas adding meat when soup is just about ready. I am sure it will work with other beans and no one will be wiser :)

                  1. re: herby

                    I tried it a couple of time with smoked ham hocks but they were too smoky for my taste. Wish they just sold the marrow separate ;-)that's all I really want!

                    1. re: coll

                      You might ask your butcher for marrow bones. They had boxes on boxes last week when I asked.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        Were they pork marrow bones? If so I'd be there in a flash. But although I've seen chicken bones and veal bones sold at market as just that, alas the lowly ham bone never seems to make an appearance.

                        I have never personally seen ham bones for sale, although yes I hear that you can get them at Honey Baked Ham or whatever it's called. If they were giving them away at $1 or so a lb I'd take a ride! I used to buy beef shin bones all the time for beef stock, also oxtail and short ribs, but not anymore at the prices they ask now. Maybe ham would come in at a more reasonable price (I doubt it though). Meanwhile I do the old trick of taking a bunch of ham and carmelizing it in the pan before adding anything else, it works OK I guess flavorwise.

                        1. re: coll

                          I love butter beans cooked with a meaty hambone. I made them last year with hog jowl.... which is an ingredient I discovered a few years ago. That batch was delicious but not even close to what legumes simmered with a hambone would produce.

                          1. re: MamasCooking

                            I'm going to have to break down and buy a whole ham it seems.

                          2. re: coll

                            I buy ham bones at Honey Baked Ham. In the summer they occasionally have a BOGO sale - they freeze just fine!

                            The bone is pretty meaty. I get enough meat for two nice sandwiches and still have plenty of smaller bits to add to soup and/or scalloped potatoes!

                            1. re: meatn3

                              The only one around here is an hour away, but next time I'm in the neighborhood I really have to check it out. How much do they cost, off hand?

                              1. re: coll

                                I seem to remember between $5 and $7. Usually higher in the winter since the demand is greater. It has seemed to vary with the location but that may just be faulty memory on my part!

                                I'm a household of one so ham purchases are few and far between. Which makes me very happy to purchase the bones for soup and beans.

                                Edit: Sometimes they store the bones in back so ask if you don't see them.

                                1. re: meatn3

                                  Oh I'll call and ask them to hold it for me before I drive all the way there! Unless ham goes back to the same price as last year by some miracle in the near future, I wasn't paying much more than that for one with all the meat on it.

                                  1. re: coll

                                    I purchased the last one my store had the other day.
                                    $2.29/lb. I paid $7.80 for 3.34 lbs.

                                    I just trimmed it and ended up with 1.96 lbs of meaty pieces.

                                    Bone is going into a yellow split pea soup!

                                    1. re: meatn3

                                      My local grocery store has Smithfield whole ham on sale for $1.49 this week, limit 2. I might actually take a couple, this is getting ridiculous ;-) Just have to figure where to store them.

                                      Meanwhile today I'm making my first split pea soup of the season using leftover ham hunks and assorted smoked meat rolls from my Swiss Colony gift box.

                                      I did pick up a package of beef shin bones yesterday for $3 something a lb (finally! It's been $5.99 for the last couple of months), so beef barley is also in our immediate future. Also grabbed a small package of cow feet, first time for me, $1.29 lb so what the heck, will probably toss them in too. Can't believe how I have to obsess over plain old bones lately.

                                      1. re: coll

                                        That is a great price on ham!

                                        I made a beef mushroom barley soup last week. I had stock from holiday prime rib bones. I added beef shank, which turned out to be boneless. First time using that cut - very big beefy flavor.

                                        I just love soup! And it's one of my favorite things to cook.

                                        Report back about the cow feet! I have not used that cut either...

                                        1. re: meatn3

                                          I know, I'm almost afraid, but I got used to chicken feet so....what the hell! And I have some filet mignon odds and ends that I stuck in the freezer around New Years, how bad can it be?

                                          OK now I'm not so scared

                                          1. re: coll

                                            I would think the cow's foot would add a nice silkiness to a dish - lots of gelatin.

                                            My first few times using chicken feet they looked rather gruesome. Now I don't think twice! And my chicken stock is so rich that I hate making it without feet.

                                            I'm slowly working my way through the unusual-to-me cuts at my local Chinese grocery. Though I think I'll take a pass on the reproductive organs!

                                        2. re: coll

                                          there is a Jewish dish called petcha-
                                          jellied calves feet-I enjoy it but it is an acquired taste-
                                          The feet in kosher butcher cost over $7 a pound.
                                          I usually buy mine from Latina supermarket

                    2. re: treb

                      I made a navy bean soup with a ham bone, onion, carrot and bay leaf all thrown in the slow cooker with water to cover. Stirred in a chopped head of cabbage for the last hour and stirred chopped leftover ham at the end.

                      What a magical transformation from a bunch of unassuming ingredients to a huge pot of warming, filling comforting goodness. I love navy bean soup with ham and this did not disappoint. Agree that the ham bone is key.