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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 http://www.jamaican-recipes.com/cowfo...

                                          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.

                    3. Dried Bean Soup, Joy of Cooking (May 1975 edition) p. 176 is simmering for lunch. My book has a 1990 note - Mom's favorite - along with hints I got from her on how to make it "her way". Navy beans, about 3/4 C./ 1/2 lb. soaked overnight. Simmering now in 6 cups of water with about 6 oz. ham, cut from a large ham steak, along with 4 peppercorns, 3 whole cloves, 1 small bay leaf.

                      After 2.5 hours, I'll be adding 1 large carrot, diced, 1/2 a large onion, sliced, 2 T. celery flakes, and 3/4 C. freshly-made mashed potatoes. Cook another 30 minutes, remove the meat & mince it, put the rest of the soup through a food mill/strainer, re-add the meat, and thin with milk. Season to taste, and serve with croutons and chopped parsley/chives.

                      The cookbook notes that other dried beans - kidney, lima or marrow could also be used, and comments that made with marrow beans and the mashed potatoes stirred in it's close in flavor to Senate Bean soup.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: MidwesternerTT

                        Could I use an immersion blender instead of food mill?

                        1. re: foodcompletesme

                          As I posted upthread, you can, but the texture will differ. You'll get the benefit of the fiber from the skin at the cost of a silkier texture.

                          1. re: foodcompletesme

                            Today I used a regular blender for the solids (minus meat & broth), adding 1 cup of milk to thin the soup. I then added the blended results to the broth and stirred in the meat, plus 1/2 tsp salt (to taste). The resulting soup was more orange/pink (from the carrots) than I recall Mom's being. Another time I might try blending half and leaving the rest chunky. Toasted croutons from a loaf of Italian-seasoned bread (garlic, oregano, parsley) were a nice topping.

                            I did try using my Mom's technique of pressing the cooked mixture through a strainer, but that was extremely slow. I think her metal mesh strainer may have been a better tool than the colander/strainer I tried to use.

                            A quick note about the JoC recipe - it may go without saying for more experienced cooks, but everyone can use a reminder within a recipe to remove the bay leaf, whole clove and peppercorns before blending/milling the mixture.

                          2. I found a ripe mango, so tonight I'm making Brazilian Black Bean soup, as recommended on the canned beans discussion here

                            Wish me luck -- The only other time I've tried making any recipe with mango, I unknowingly bought one that was too green/unripe. Not a happy result..

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: MidwesternerTT

                              That looks very good! Please report back - was this recipe in one of the Moosewood cookbooks? Looks a little familiar.

                              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                Sounds delicious - thank you for sharing! Mango is used pretty much as garnish - you should be OK :)

                                1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                  The Brazillian Black Bean soup was wonderfully flavorful and very easy to assemble - at least until the last step. My too-ripe mango was more juice than cubes by the time I was done mangling it, but all went in for the final stir/warm and added just the right balance for all the other ingredients. I especially liked how the texture of cubed sweet potatoes and taste of the cooked red pepper played off the black beans.

                                  I also warmed some shredded deli-rotisserie chicken for my "where's the meat" spouse to stir in -- not at all necessary but a nice enough variation when I tried it for my last few spoonfuls. I may heat some sausage for him to have in/with the leftovers.

                                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                    Thank you for this recipe, in advance. I have tried to make Cuban style black bean soup a few times and it just tastes like a bowl of spicy black beans. With the sweet potatoes and mango, this might be more like what I have been searching.

                                    Maybe I'll also add some of the gallon Ziplock full of ham in the freezer for MY spouse.

                                    1. re: coll

                                      Ham would be good in it too. We had some of the leftover last night, served with heated fully cooked packaged "sausage crumbles" I keep on hand for quick stir-ins. I'd bought that product thinking we'd have it in eggs, but find I use it much more often for stir-in/garnish of main dish veggie or potato casseroles.

                                      1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                        I always have bags of leftover ham and grilled sausage in the freezer, our appetites aren't what they used to be. I have to start using them now.

                                    2. re: MidwesternerTT

                                      I made a variant of this for lunch today. Couldn't check the actual recipe before I started & added a quart of chicken broth (instead of 1-1/2 cups water), so it was more soupy than intended. I forgot to get mango and cilantro at the store, but I had some cubes of homemade cilantro pesto in the freezer and threw one of those in instead. It was really good.

                                      Thanks for linking to the recipe!

                                      1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                        We really enjoyed this Brazilian Black Bean soup recipe. Thank you for the link!

                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                          I made it too, like it so much more than Cuban.

                                      2. I'm making pea soup with the xmas ham bone and leftovers. It was kind of a meh ham- too dry - but should yield an awesome soup. Several hounds had trouble recently getting their split peas cooked so I decided to go with the package directions for a quick boil and a one hour soak rather than my usual dump the bag in the pot I missed the part about saving the soaking water so the peas are without that ingredient. Currently using my 60's copy of the Joy of Cooking as a rough guide it is in the third hour of the simmer of peas, bone and water. Going to stay traditional with a chop carrots, onion, garlic and celery for another hour or so. Then I'll add more ham and some of our homemade chicken stock. The Joy hints that I may need to thicken it with a beurre manie - I have always had a thick soup unless I blew it when I threw out the soaking water. Will report about the final results this weekend when I serve it to a bunch of hearty New Englanders.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                          That JoC recipe for split pea soup is next up on my list. so thanks for the heads up on keeping the soaking water. We have a couple days of leftover soups to finish off first.

                                          1. re: Berheenia

                                            I'm not pre soaking again! My soup came out very thin with little pea taste so I strained out the meat and veg and threw another pack of peas in the broth. It is simmering right now.
                                            If this doesn't work out I'll be really pissed. Pea soup has always been my fool proof success soup.

                                            1. re: Berheenia

                                              I never soak split peas and lentils, just beans, and soups come out well. Hope yours comes out well this time!

                                              1. re: herby

                                                I cook my pea soup with the bone in it for about three hours, then puree and add a cup of milk and another half hour.

                                                1. re: Berheenia

                                                  It was a big hit- people were asking 'who made the pea soup- it's delicious'!

                                              2. I made Red Lentil and Cauliflower Soup from Food52: http://food52.com/recipes/7020-red-le...

                                                Halved the recipe and since I didn't have any curry powder, used a mix of Indian spices that usually go into a generic curry (minus turmeric since I was out) plus nice home-made graham masala. The soup turned out tasty but nothing special and the colour was off because there was no turmeric to add that golden hue :)

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: herby

                                                  just made black bean soup from lovely Baer turtle beans. Boiled beans for 3 or 4 minutes, covered and let sit for two hours. Sweated 6 cloves of thinly sliced garlic with one diced sweet onion in grapeseed oil till softened, added diced celery and carrots, kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and a tablespoon of homemade chili powder (new mexico, smoked chipotle and red chili peppers toasted and ground). Drained and simmered beans for 2 1/2 hours in half water, half chicken stock, added one can of 6 and one tomatoes, the softened veg and spice mixture, covered and simmered for an hour and a half. Added lime juice and chopped cilantro at the end. Served with sour cream and pickled jalapeno to add. Everyone very happy.

                                                  1. re: teezeetoo

                                                    forgot I also add to the spice mixture about a tablespoon of Mexican oregano.

                                                2. Minestrone from the Joy of Cooking recipe, and that started with making the Brown Stock / Beef Stock (also JoC) this morning. My first time for making beef stock and it made me appreciate the work & time required to produce a good one. This is not something I'm likely to repeat. BTW - the beef soup bones this week cost as much per pound as porterhouse steak did before the holidays.

                                                  I substituted canned kidney beans and garbanzo beans since the recipe started with cooking dried beans and setting those aside while making the rest of the soup. The final results, with the recipe's addition of fresh (in my case frozen) peas were colorful. I did include pasta (optional per the recipe), about a dry cup of large rings cooked and stirred in a the last. Other vegetables included canned tomatoes, a leek, diced onion, diced carrots and chopped savoy cabbage.

                                                  All in all, I think we prefer another Minestrone recipe that uses vegetable broth as the base, but I certainly will include the fresh/frozen peas next time for color and flavor.

                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                    I just pulled my copy of Joy out and this looks like the recipe for me. Thanks! I was craving minestrone and there was a sale on marrow bones too today. Was just going to go for a beef stock as I love to roast those bones in this freezing weather (13 F now) but now the planets have lined up as I have all the ingredients for the minestrone plus the bones. Will follow up later.

                                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                                      We learned we prefer a non-beef-based Minestrone, despite the good ingredients list of the JoC recipe. We also learned that weather really needs to allow open windows when stovetop simmering of cabbage is involved. I'll be interested to read your review.

                                                      1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                        The soup is good. Husband loves it. I used 3 lbs. of marrow bones for the stock and made a basic version, roasting the bones with cut up carrots and onions and then simmering on low for 4 hours with some other aromatic veg. Quite a lot of degreasing and scumming was necessary but I ended up with a decent if mild stock. Followed the Joy recipe with few changes. I tripled the spinach, which I did not saute but added straight to the soup and added a 1/2 cup of ditalini pasta. I solved the cabbage dilemma with a course store bought coleslaw mix and there was no cabbage odor. I think we will make this again but might substitute a store bought chicken or vegetable stock.

                                                      2. re: Berheenia

                                                        I'm curious, beef shin bones used to be an actual bone, bare and 6 to 8 inches tall, now all I can find is little disks with lots of meat on it. Is this how it is everywhere? I really liked those old bones.

                                                        1. re: coll

                                                          The only bones at the stupidmarket were marrow bones. I miss the old bones too.

                                                        2. re: Berheenia

                                                          Berh-I'm gonna get my JOC out and check that our myself

                                                      3. Basic Minestrone Soup (Arrabbiato minestrone denso if including hot peppers)

                                                        This recipe usually produces a soup that is thick like stew (stoup?). It is just to be used as a guide and not chiseled in stone. Variations on this theme are encouraged to prevent boredom from consuming a bowl of this stoup each morning.


                                                        2 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds total)
                                                        1 cup each of 2 kinds of dried beans*
                                                        Olive oil**, enough to cover the bottom of a large stockpot
                                                        1 medium to large onion, diced
                                                        2 celery ribs, diced
                                                        1 bell pepper, any color, diced****
                                                        2 or 3 sliced carrots
                                                        Several garlic cloves, minced
                                                        ⅓ cup lentils
                                                        ⅓ cup split peas
                                                        ⅓ cup barley
                                                        1 28-oz. can of tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
                                                        1 small head of cabbage (about 2 or 3 pounds), chopped***
                                                        Salt and ground black pepper to taste (I don’t add either, tomato sauce contains salt)


                                                        Bake the sweet potatoes the night before making the minestrone until very soft, cool them, peel them and mash them in a dish to be refrigerated over night.

                                                        Examine beans for foreign matter and discard such matter. Place in a small sauce pan (3 or 5 quart capacity). Soak the beans in water for about 6 hours or overnight. Drain soaking water, add more water, stir and drain one more time. Add plenty of water to beans, bring to a boil, turn heat to simmer and partially cover pot. Simmer for about ½ hour, turn off heat, and cover pot.

                                                        Add oil to a 5-quart stockpot or larger preheated at medium heat. When oil shimmers in the pot, add onion, celery, bell pepper, carrots and garlic. Sauté (or sweat) the vegetables until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring often.

                                                        Add the tomato and the mashed sweet potatoes to pot and stir well. Add cooked beans and the liquid in which they were cooked to the vegetables. Rinse the lentils, split peas and barley in a strainer before adding to the mixture. Note that barley expands upon cooking so do not use too much. Add the cabbage to the pot and again, stir well. Allow the soup to simmer for at least 45 minutes to make sure that the beans, lentils, peas and barley are fully cooked.

                                                        Makes 8 to 10 servings (for breakfast)

                                                        *Navy beans, pinto beans, red beans, garbanzo beans, etc.
                                                        **Other oil such as canola oil can be substituted.
                                                        ***Any cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, kale, collards, Chinese cabbage, etc.) can be used.
                                                        Any frozen package(s) can be used instead of fresh.
                                                        **** I use any source of ground hot red pepper such as cayenne or other varieties instead of bell peppers.

                                                        Note: Sometimes other ingredients such as leftovers are included like meat gravy, chard or kale reserved midribs that have been removed before cooking, sometimes leftover homemade vegetable stock and the puree made from the overcooked vegetables, etc. This recipe is not etched in stone. Be creative.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: ChiliDude

                                                          ChiliDude, thanks for this, looks wonderful, but I think the ingredients leave out the hot peppers referred to in the last (4th) asterisk, and implied in the title. And when would they be added?

                                                          1. re: GretchenS

                                                            I apologize for the delay in replying to your question. I do not include bell peppers in my current batches of this minestrone. The hot peppers are added in place of the sweet ones. The hot peppers are added when the other aromatic vegetables are added.

                                                        2. Bean soups are a staple in my kitchen, so I look forward to following this thread.

                                                          My latest bean soup was a spin on Mexican mole in soup form. I sauteed onions with hatch chiles, garlic, cumin, cinnamon and Ancho chile powder and mixed it with tomatoes and chocolate. Pureed that into a slick cream. Brought stock up to boil and added some vegetables (zucchini, carrots and corn) along with chickpeas and cooked brown rice. Seasoned with lime juice, tamari and cilantro. Served with tortillas.


                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: blinknoodle

                                                            It may help other people to explain what Hatch chiles are. Hatch, NM is a place where chiles are grown in great abundance. At harvest time there is a great event in Hatch where locally grown chiles are roasted.

                                                            Hatch chiles are also available fresh by mail order if you do not live in the vicinity.

                                                            1. re: blinknoodle

                                                              That mole soup sound very interesting!

                                                            2. I made a sort of Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden) copycat recipe tonight, subbing white beans for the potatoes. I chopped up a few slices of thick cut bacon, then sauteed an onion and some garlic in the drippings. Added broken up Italian sausage and sauteed until cooked through, then dumped in chicken stock, frozen kale and some white beans. Let that simmer a bit then added chili flakes, pepper and half and half (I would have used cream but I didn't have any).

                                                              It's tasty and pretty close to the Olive Garden version, but I will definitely add some white wine next time, it needed a hit of acid. Also, more beans - I only had one can and it could have used two. Fresh kale, too - I used frozen and it's sort of flavorless. Still, for a quicky soup with pantry ingredients, not bad at all!

                                                              1. White Bean Soup with Pork Stuff

                                                                This soup turned into a three-day affair. I was totally winging it, and the process stretched out due to life-interferences. I soaked a pound of Great Northern White beans for about 22 hours, which is a bit too long I think. After draining the beans, I threw them into the pressure cooker with some bay leaves, fresh thyme, and an onion cut in half and cooked under pressure for 8 minutes.

                                                                Meanwhile, I browned one ham shank [fresh, not smoked] and four pork bones; browned some onions and garlic, tomato paste, and then added a bit of water before throwing into the oven to braise for 3 hours.

                                                                When I opened up the bean pot, it was clear that the beans were a bit softer than I had intended. When the braise was done, I threw the meat and bones into one container and the broth into another so I could defat after it was chilled.

                                                                For dinner last night, I sautéed some onion and carrot, then added some garlic and fresh thyme before adding the pork braise juices and some roasted chicken stock. That was left to simmer with a chunk of parmesan rind for about 20 minutes. Added half the beans, the pork meat from the braise, and some chopped smoked ham [the end bits that aren't good for sandwiches] and let them cook together for about 15 minutes, before adding a a big bunch of chopped, fresh spinach.

                                                                Served with some nice bread, toasted and rubbed with garlic. To serve, each bowl of soup was given a very light grating of Romano cheese.

                                                                Pretty tasty dinner overall. Plus there is enough left to eat again tonight.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                                  I'm very intrigued with the idea of the pressure cooker for the beans. I don't have one but remember my Mom using one when I was growing up.

                                                                2. I made this red lentil and coconut milk soup with shrimp dumplings. It has lots of different flavours, and is one of my favourites.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: pavlova

                                                                    Interesting and long ingredients list. It looks complex / time-consuming to make, is it?

                                                                    1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                      I was initially put off by the long ingredient list and wasn't sure if the fennel seed would go with some of the other flavours, but it all works. It does take a bit of time--I usually form and chill the shrimp balls up to a day before I make the rest, and then it's straightforward.

                                                                    2. re: pavlova

                                                                      That sounds really good - is it thick/stewlike, or more soupy? Also, how prominent are the carrots? I'm not a big fan of cooked carrots...

                                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                                        It's definitely soupy, but you could increase the lentils to make it thicker. I don't find the carrots obtrusive--there's a lot going on. But then I'm okay with cooked carrots. :)
                                                                        Fresh fennel or celery would be other options.

                                                                    3. Winter Minestrone, Pg. 93, Recipes from the Root Cellar by Andrea Chessman

                                                                      We been enjoying various recipes from this winter focused book for a few weeks now and although there are plenty of omnivore dishes the soup chapter has given us two excellent meals with more planned. There is leeway for adapting the recipe to include vegetables one has on hand but I was able to use the listed vegetables which are: onion, carrots, celery, cabbage, white beans (cannellini), with parsnips being my addition. Other ingredients are: garlic, crushed tomatoes, dried rosemary and thyme, small macaroni (I used elbows), and broth (homemade chicken broth), S & P.

                                                                      The aromatics are sauted in a large soup pot, all except the pasta is added and simmered for about 30 minutes. The soup is brought to the boil and the pasta is added and cooked for about 10-ish minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve.

                                                                      Delicious, quite satisfying, pleasing texture, wonderful aroma. This made enough for me to have a lovely steaming bowl for a breakfast the second morning of my not so lovely cold, plus another heaping meal.

                                                                      1. Lentil Vegetable Soup, Pg. 96, Recipes from the Root Cellar

                                                                        This is a hearty, stick-to-the-ribs soup for a cold winter's night with tons of flavor. The ingredients are, EVOO, onion, celery root (I used 2 large celery stalks), garlic, dried red lentils, chicken broth, lots of dried oregano (Greek), diced tomatoes/carrots/rutabaga, S & P.

                                                                        Aromatics plus celery are sauteed about 5 minutes. The lentils, broth and oregano are added and simmered tll the lentils break down, from 45 to 60 minutes. At this point the soup base is pureed but we didn't do that. The tomatoes, carrots, and rutabaga are added and simmered another 30 minutes or so. Season with S & P to your liking and serve. We served this piping hot over a grilled sliced of buttered ciabatta and loved every drop.

                                                                        1. Since I had a nice ham bone left over from our New Year's Day party, I decided it was time for split pea soup. I more or less followed the recipe from Cook's Illustrated. I say more or less because the recipe is written for people who want split pea soup and don't happen to have a ham bone hanging around. I followed the quantities, and just threw my ham bone in and took it out at the times specified for the ham steak they sub. It seems quite good.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Berheenia

                                                                              As I wrote above, if forced I will make it with just cut up ham, but it never satisfies like a bone. That's all you do, make split pea soup with the bone just hanging out in the pot the whole time. Three hours or so to really extract every last bit of marrow.

                                                                          1. Tonight, I made a very good baby lima bean soup with turkey broth, diced pork shoulder from Friday night, rosemary, onions, and a few miscellaneous veggies that needed using up.

                                                                            I pressure cooked the beans for 10 minutes, browned the onions, rosemary and meat, then threw it in the crockpot for several hours while we watched the 49ers beat Green Bay.

                                                                            1. Vospapur (Armenian Red Lentil Soup, with dried apricots) from Gil Marks' "Olive Trees and Honey". Link here: http://goo.gl/cmzmxi

                                                                              2 cups of lentils seemed like a lot for 8 cups of water, and I did need to add some more H2O. I sauteed the chopped dried apricots with the garlic and onions, and used canned plum tomatoes which I diced (and threw in the juice too). I also added some (low-salt) Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Powder with the water. I used a stick blender to partially puree the soup when it was done to smooth out the texture some, but not completely.

                                                                              When I tasted the soup, it seemed kind of *meh* to me, even with the recommended splash of lemon juice and drizzle of olive oil. But after a night in the fridge, it tasted MUCH better! The hint of tart sweetness from the dried apricots definitely came through, and the flavors overall seemed more integrated, mellow and balanced. The lemon juice + olive oil finish is a must to brighten/freshen things up. While my previous go-to was the Red Lentil, Bulgur and Mint Soup in Ozcan Ozan's excellent "Sultan's Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook", I'll definitely be making this Armenian version again, too.

                                                                              1. Black-eyed pea and tomato soup with cabbage: In honor of the southern U.S. new year tradition of eating black-eyed peas for good luck. The stand outs for this recipe were the use of spicy V8 juice, the crunchy vegetables, and spice combo.

                                                                                Cover 2 cups B-E P (fresh or frozen) with cold salted water, add 4 oz. diced ham. Boil, then simmer covered 15 mins. Drain liquid, reserving peas & ham aside.
                                                                                In same pot, sauté 3 cloves chopped garlic, chopped large red onion, 1.25 cup chopped carrots, 3 chopped celery stalks, 1 tsp. dried chervil or thyme, 1 tsp. fines herbes, 1 tsp. caraway seed (I used anise seed) until al dente about 7 minutes.
                                                                                Add 14.5 oz. can chopped tomatoes with juice, 12 oz. spicy V8 juice & 4 cups chicken stock. Boil, then simmer covered for 10 mins. Add reserved B-E P and ham, plus 1.5 cups chopped green cabbage in last 5 minutes. Should be crisp when served.

                                                                                I erroneously added the cabbage earlier with my garlic, onion, carrots, and celery and was still satisfied with the outcome. Since the veggies were al dente to begin with and the simmer time is only 10 minutes, all remained crunchy.

                                                                                Here's to good luck in the New Year!

                                                                                1. I made an excellent 15 bean soup with a ham bone that I had been saving for just such a recipe. I started with the usual mire-poix, bay leaf, garlic, and a big can of tomatoes. We like to add a dash of pepper sauce when serving.

                                                                                  1. Spinach, White Bean, Turkey Sausage Soup, Closet Cooking.com

                                                                                    I've been reading this blog for quite a while but this is the first recipe I've made from it. If it's any indication of the quality of Kevin Lynch's recipes I'll definitely cook more. We loved this satisfying, nutritious soup. The complete recipe is in the link so I'll just say it was very easy to put together and perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

                                                                                    I used 2 large in-house made turkey sausages from our local salumaria, sliced in thin-ish rounds. They had already been grilled so that made the whole process speedy. All the other ingredients were in the pantry thus no substitutions. Cannellini beans are used in this soup. I didn't add the optional Parmigiano rind though. Served with a grilled slice of focaccia and grated Romano over top each serving. Perfeto!

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                      I've been making almost the exact same soup for years, except I use broccoli rabe. Down to sliced garlic bread on the side, it is a meal in itself!

                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                        Oh I love broccoli rabe. I've always sauteed it in EVOO with garlic and red pepper flakes, never used in soups. What a good idea Coll. Thanks!

                                                                                        It's really been a few weeks of soup season here and I've been having a good time searching for hearty soups in my cookbook collection. I'm glad Herby started this thread.

                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                          Me too, I suddenly realize I CAN make split pea soup this weekend: My brother sent me a giant Swiss Colony collection of meats and cheeses for Christmas, and I realized all those little smoked logs and the 8 oz hams will be wonderful after carmelizing. I have some turkey stock that is basically gelatin so what am I waiting for, a ham bone? Psshaw!

                                                                                    2. Kale, White Bean, and Smoked Turkey Sausage Soup.
                                                                                      Great minds think alike, Gio. I just now finished today's soup and it came out good! Does anyone else just love the sound of the aromatics hitting the hot oil and butter?? I'm weird. Making way more soup than I can eat (with the large batch of black-eyed pea and tomato yesterday) but having fun hibernating in this cold weather.

                                                                                      I pulled ideas from Giada and Pioneer Woman and added my own whims to create this filling healthy soup. 6 cups stock, 1 # white beans, 1 # smoked turkey sausage, 1 # fresh kale, 4 carrots chopped, 3 potatoes diced, large onion chopped, 3 cloves garlic minced, bay leaf, Italian seasoning mixture, parmesan rind, s&p.
                                                                                      Sautéed veggies/garlic in oil & butter, then herbs. Added stock, beans, kale, parm rind, bay leaf; simmered 10 minutes. Just for fun I pureed a cup with the immersion blender, and added it back. Then added the smoked turkey sausage and potatoes which I had cooked separately.

                                                                                      Smoked flavor from the smoked turkey sausage was especially good. I think the flavors will be even better tomorrow. I'm working through some homemade turkey stock - which is a beautiful thing.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: foodcompletesme

                                                                                        Yes, that does sound wonderful. I paid pretty close attention to the original recipe of the soup I made but I can certainly see that the base soup would accept all kinds of different additions. My favorite is really a kind of clean out the fridge soup. I agree that homemade stock makes the finished soup so much more tasty, that's what we've been using.

                                                                                      2. Blender Split Pea Soup from Joy of Cooking, p. 178. Only 1.5 hours start to finish, no ham bone required, makes a smaller 6 C. batch for just the two of us, and very tasty - I think the hint of rosemary is the secret.

                                                                                        1/2 c. split peas are simmered in 2.5 C. of water about 45 minutes, allowed to cool (I cooled 20 min), then blended w/ 1 C. diced ham (recipe called for "luncheon pork sausage"), a sliced small onion, a chopped stalk of celery. a clove of minced garlic, 2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce, 1/8 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. salt and a "pinch" of rosemary (I used dried). I added 1 C. water to be able to blend the mixture (my split pea water was almost completely simmered away). The recipe has you put the puree back in the pan, then rinse your blender with 1 C. of water and add that to the puree, which I also did. This worked well to get all the flavorful ingredients & spice back into the soup, and my soup wasn't at all thin, even with the extra cup of water. Warm 10 more minutes and it's ready to eat.

                                                                                        For most main dishes, I omit/reduce salt and we add it at the table if needed. So I was a bit concerned the recipe's tsp of salt might be too much, along with the salty ham. But the flavor balance seems to be "just right".

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                          Spouse's initial reaction seeing the serving dish "You made this? You know you can get it in cans, right?" and after tasting "This is way better than canned." Quite gratifying.

                                                                                          Served with grilled cheddar cheese & ham on light rye sandwiches.

                                                                                        2. Tuscan White Bean and Kale Soup, Pg. 109, Recipes from the Root Cellar

                                                                                          This was probably the quickest soup to prep, cook, and serve we've ever made. The ingredients were: left over pulled pork, chicken broth, cannellini, carrots, garlic, rosemary, S & P, and chopped kale. Add them to the pot sequentially, simmer for 30 minutes, and Tah Dah dinner's on the table.

                                                                                          Full of flavor and oh so warming. A little lighter than most winter soups but still just what one wants at the end of a long day. Served with grated Romano over top and a slice of grilled Italian bread. G had 3 helpings!

                                                                                          1. I made black bean and sweet potato soup in my slow cooker today and my kids loved it! I started with dried black beans and water in the slow cooker for three hours. Then I sautéed the onions and garlic, Roasted the sweet potatoes, and added in coriander, cumin, and some fennel. Easy and yummy.

                                                                                            It was this fine cooking recipe:


                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: nat8199

                                                                                              Love the sound of this recipe, but I'm jumping on your "dried black beans and water in the slow cooker for three hours."

                                                                                              Would you please tell more about that? How much beans, how much water, Low or High? The three hours I got. LOL A million thanks in advance.

                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                For this recipe I did two cups of black beans with four cups of water. (ETA: I made a half-recipe of the original, but kept the spices the same.)

                                                                                                I don't pre-soak and use any liquid remaining right into the recipe I am making. Pinto and black beans usually take 3 hours on high, white beans more like 2. Whatever I am making then requires a bit more salt/seasoning than the original recipe call for. Making dried beans in the slow cooker is super easy. I love the texture of dried beans now and can no longer eat canned.

                                                                                                1. re: nat8199

                                                                                                  This is wonderful, Nat. Thank you so much. I too prefer dried beans to canned. I've been doing the one hour soak stove top etc. routine but this gives me a little more leeway. TxVM..

                                                                                                  1. re: nat8199

                                                                                                    Great information! I often convert regular stove top soup & chili recipes to slow cooker ones because I love throwing everything in and letting it cook itself. Now we can even cook the dried beans in it....love that!

                                                                                                    1. re: nat8199

                                                                                                      I am glad you guys are finding this useful! I have no idea where I got the idea to do this, but I know I read it somewhere on the internet. It has saved me so much times and makes cooking dried beans so much easier. I have three toddlers/preschoolers, so easy is a necessity for me.

                                                                                                      1. re: nat8199

                                                                                                        I made a 16-bean soup today with diced ham. I used your technique of preparing the dried beans in the crock pot, nat, and really like the results!
                                                                                                        Used 10 oz. of 16-bean dried beans and double that amount of water. Since it was a mixture of types of beans I cooked it 2.5 hours on High, then switched it to Low for about 5.5 hours after adding my other ingredients (vegetable broth, spicy V8 juice, celery, onion, garlic, green onion, carrots, diced ham) in the slow cooker. Thanks again for the tip!

                                                                                                      2. re: nat8199

                                                                                                        We put your bean cooking method to work two days ago, Nat, with the intention of using them last night. It worked perfectly! One cup of black-eyed peas and 2 cups water for three hours and the beans were tender and ready for the recipe. Thank you very much for this tip. Stored the beans and liquor separately in the fridge. Report for the soup will be downthread.

                                                                                                  2. Did not see this one posted. One of our family favs especially on a week night because it is soo quick and easy. We most often used canned beans, and water is a viable substitute for stock.

                                                                                                    Having it tonight with grilled sammies!


                                                                                                    1. I made NYTimes' Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

                                                                                                      It's a versatile recipe. The first time I made it, I didn't have carrots so I added a diced sweet potato instead. The second time I made it, I halved the recipe for a weekend meal and added curry powder instead of cumin for a different flavor.

                                                                                                      I usually make green lentil and kale soup, so I was surprised by the texture of a red lentil soup. The red lentils burst while cooking and it's a pretty good thicker texture, then I use an immersion blender to puree half the soup.

                                                                                                      Super easy recipe otherwise: sautee chopped onions, some spices, tomato paste; add lentils and whatever flavor broth + water; simmer and puree. The lemon at the end helps brighten the flavor... I haven't had cilantro on hand, so don't know what it tastes like :)


                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: bobabear

                                                                                                        Thanks for that link, bobabear. I read it this morning and just finished making the soup. It was a little too earthy tasting for me so I added a dash of schriracha, sweet paprika, cajun seasoning, oregano, corn, and sausage. Tonight I'll serve it with lemon, cilantro, and green onion.

                                                                                                        This on is definitely going on our rotation. It's the most beautifully colored soup I've ever seen.

                                                                                                        1. re: bobabear

                                                                                                          This is one of my son's favorite soups, and it has the further advantages of being ready in a flash, and delicious!

                                                                                                          1. re: bobabear

                                                                                                            Thanks for the idea, making green lentil and kale soup today.

                                                                                                          2. Turkey parts were on sale so tonight I'm making turkey stock in the crock pot. Tomorrow I plan to use the stock to cook a pot of black eyed peas which will be finished with spinach, diced turkey and a dab of pesto.

                                                                                                            1. Split Yellow Pea with Ham and Edamame

                                                                                                              This is loosely based on Double Split Pea Soup from Lauren Groveman's Kitchen cookbook.

                                                                                                              3.5 quarts defatted chicken stock
                                                                                                              1 lb. yellow split peas, rinsed
                                                                                                              1 ham bone with some meat (reserve large chunks)
                                                                                                              2 - 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/3 " coins
                                                                                                              2 Tb. butter
                                                                                                              2 med. onions, chopped coarsely
                                                                                                              1 leek, sliced thin
                                                                                                              3 cloves of garlic, chopped
                                                                                                              1 small bunch of Chinese celery, chopped (leaves too)
                                                                                                              1 tea. dried thyme, crumbled
                                                                                                              1/2 tea. dried oregano, crumbled
                                                                                                              1/2 package frozen shelled edamame
                                                                                                              salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

                                                                                                              Bring stock to a simmer in a large soup pot. Add split peas and ham bone. Stir, return to simmer. Cover and cook at low heat for 1 hour.

                                                                                                              Microwave the sliced carrots (1 min.) until crisp tender. Rinse in cold water and drain.

                                                                                                              Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit a large pan.
                                                                                                              Melt the butter in the pan over medium heat. Use some of the melted butter to brush onto one side of the parchment circle.

                                                                                                              Once butter is bubbling add the carrots, onion, leek, celery and garlic. Stir so veggies are coated with butter. Stir in herbs. Place buttered side of parchment over the veggies and reduce the heat to low. Let sweat for about 20 min., gently stirring a few times.

                                                                                                              After the soup ot has simmered for an hour add the sweated veggies to the mix. Cover and let simmer slowly for another hour.

                                                                                                              Remove the pot from heat. Fish out the ham bone and reserve. Place a strainer (med. mesh is good) over a large bowl. Ladle the soup into the strainer. You may need to do this in batches.

                                                                                                              Let the broth cool. Puree the solids (immersion blender, blender or food processor). Return the pureed solids to the soup pot.

                                                                                                              By now the broth should be cool enough to defat. Add enough of the broth to the pot to reach your desired consistency. Remove and chop meat from cooled bones. Add to the soup. You may need a cup or so of extra ham (trimmed from bone earlier). Add the frozen edamame.

                                                                                                              Reheat gently. Add salt and pepper to taste.

                                                                                                              *You'll end up with a quart or so of extra broth. Delicious for future soups!
                                                                                                              *My main changes to the original recipe were to decrease quantity, use just yellow splits rather than green (2/3) and yellow (1/3), decreased carrots and used edamame rather than frozen English peas (don't like them).

                                                                                                              This is a silky soup with more depth of flavor than most split pea soups. The chopped ham and frozen peas provide nice texture and color. I like the yellow split peas - makes a cheerier color during the grey days of winter!

                                                                                                              1. Collard Greens, Black-eyed Peas, Ham Soup

                                                                                                                We finally got around to making a black-eyed peas and collards soup that I originally intended to make during the first week of the New Year. We used Nat8199's slow cooker precook method for the beans which was a terrific time saver.

                                                                                                                The ingredients were: EVOO, an onion and leek, garlic, diced ham, collards, chicken broth/bean liquor/water, B-YPs, S & plenty of P. Each ingredient was added to the pot in turn then the soup simmered for about 45 minutes. DEElicious! Served with a slice of grilled Italian bread.

                                                                                                                1. African Peanut Soup today. Pretty good but I think I'm getting tired of soup…I've been eating different varieties for lunch and dinner for days!

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: foodcompletesme

                                                                                                                    Would love to have that recipe! May be in a cookbook I have but it is packed up and in storage due to repairs on my place due to flooding because of a water line break while I was away.

                                                                                                                    1. re: foodcompletesme

                                                                                                                      Here it is Jeanne,

                                                                                                                      I made a crockpot version because that was the kind of day it was. I'm sure there are more complex-tasting versions out there but this was adequate (many positive reviews on the blog site). I understand that the authentic version has either shredded chicken and/or shrimp but I did not add either. Ingredients were yellow onion, green onion, red bell peppers, garlic, crushed tomatoes, veg broth (I substituted 2 c. of veg broth with spicy V8 juice for more flavor), black pepper, chili powder, rice, peanut butter. The proportions are in the recipe in the link above. I had trouble with the peanut butter incorporating at the end. It looked like the egg in egg drop soup….it was natural pb.

                                                                                                                      I bought the sour cream but then forgot to put it on the end product after rushing around a little and getting back from a staff meeting : ( but I will remember tonight!

                                                                                                                    2. LENTIL AND CHESTNUT SOUP - p. 64, How To Eat cookbook by Nigella Lawson

                                                                                                                      I froze some roasted chestnuts we had leftover from a pre-Christmas event and figured a soup would be a good way to put them to use as I wasn't sure how they'd survive the freezing process. I've made this recipe before and I can't say we noticed any difference in the mouthfeel of the dish however it was definitely thicker when made with the home-roasted chestnuts vs the purchased version. I added some chopped garlic to the recipe but otherwise prepared as set out in the book.

                                                                                                                      This is a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kinda soup, perfect for a chilly winter day.

                                                                                                                      I found the recipe online for anyone who may be interested:


                                                                                                                      ETA: This is totally do-able on a weeknight, especially if you use a food processor to mince your veggies.

                                                                                                                      1. I made split pea soup yesterday-
                                                                                                                        used goya green split peas-7 cups of water-s/p-onion, garlic,2 carrots, celery,a small packet of sazon, ham hock,1 small chipolte pepper,4 small mini peppers, and 4 small compari tomatoes,and vegetable broth-
                                                                                                                        it was delicious

                                                                                                                        1. Last night was Beans & Ham soup. I soaked navy beans in cold water for 1 hour, then rinsed. Put back into pot, covered with water and boiled for 3 minutes. Removed from heat and let sit for 4 hours, then drained and rinsed again. In DO, I sauteed 1 medium diced onion and a cup each of diced celery and diced carrots in olive oil and 2 tbs. butter. Added back in the beans, vegetable stock enough to cover, ham bone, lg. bay leaf, some s&p. Brought back up to boil and reduced heat to simmer for another 4 hours. Also added about 1-1/2 Tbs. tomato paste as well. This turned out oh-so-good. Had a nice creamy quality to it.

                                                                                                                          1. I soaked some black bean over night and just put them on to cook with a couple of bay leaves. Debating whether to salt them or not as there is so much controversy over the salting at the beginning of cooking. Better check Dragonwagon's bean book and do what she says :)

                                                                                                                            1. I have fresh turkey stock and dried green lentils with soup in mind. Is it best to add lentils at the end for 45 minutes or so or should I cook them longer?

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                For the lentil soup I make, first a soffritto (chopped celery and garlic) is cooked, then the broth, dried oregano, and lentils are added, cooked for 45 minutes. Then I add other vegetables (rutabaga, tomatoes, carrot). This simmers another 30 minutes or so till the vegetables are tender. Hope this helps.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                  Great thanks! I was going to make it for soup tomorrow.

                                                                                                                              2. I made this recipe because I love the restaurant version. I used an entire can of coconut milk and a generic grocery store curry powder - not something I usually buy or cook with. The soup is decent but I think the curry powder is too strong in cumin flavour. Next time I'd make up a spice blend. The fruity sweetness is lacking compared to the restaurant version. Not really sure how to rectify that, I possibly need to go back to the restaurant (where I loathe to spend $8 on lentil soup...) and do a tasting analysis.

                                                                                                                                1. Nominations thread for February DOTM is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/960584

                                                                                                                                  Please come over and nominate!

                                                                                                                                  1. Legume and pasta soups are a mainstay of the everyday Italian kitchen. This one is from Puglia. Source: "Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way" (W. W. Norton 2013)

                                                                                                                                    MINESTRA DI FAVE (dried fava bean and pasta soup)

                                                                                                                                    for the soup:
                                                                                                                                    1 pound 10 ounces (750 g) dried fava beans soaked 24-48 hours (depends on age)
                                                                                                                                    1 large white onion, finely chopped
                                                                                                                                    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

                                                                                                                                    Before serving:
                                                                                                                                    8 ounces (225 g), or less according to taste, small pasta, such as cannolicchi or maltagliati
                                                                                                                                    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
                                                                                                                                    6 rounded tablespoons (60 g) grated pecorino romano or other pecorino

                                                                                                                                    Skin the soaked favas.
                                                                                                                                    Saute the onion in the oil in a soup pot, preferably of terracotta. When the onion is transparent, add the favas and about 6 cups water or just enough to cover. Add at least 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to minimum and continue cooking, covered, until the favas have completely fallen apart, about 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on age of the favas. Stir occasionally, adding a ladle of hot water if needed. The soup should have the consistency of a smooth porridge. Some broken fava pieces can remain.

                                                                                                                                    In a separate pot cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and add to the favas in their pot. Let the flavors blend for a couple of minutes, stirring. Transfer to a warm tureen (or leave it in the pot), stir in the remaining extra virgin olive oil and the pecorino, and serve.

                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                      Thank you for this recipe, Maureen! I have a half pound of dried fava beans in the pantry waiting for me to do something else with them other than pureed with bitter greens. Perfect timing. (My mother was born in Andria near Bari so I like to cook recipes from Puglia.)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                        Fave con la cicoria is one of Franco's absolutely favorite dishes. He always orders it when we go to Grano, near the Pantheon, because it's pretty rare in Rome. But this soup is truly delish. Oretta just brought me some incredible maltagliati, so I might make it. Or else will make sagne con lenticchie, also from our book, and will post that recipe later or tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                          Oh, so the fave recipe is from your "Williams-Sonoma Foods of the World: Rome: Authentic Recipes Celebrating the Foods of the World" book? I have it!

                                                                                                                                          We also love fave con la cicoria but I make it so often it's great to have another recipe to cook, and rarely do I see one for dried fava. I cook the one from Nancy Harmon Jenkins' "The Food of Puglia."

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                            No, from the new book I did with Oretta Zanini De Vita, "Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way". We have quite a few legume and pasta soups in it. All delish, I must say.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                              Thank you and it's now on the way.

                                                                                                                                    2. This is a very easy and very good lentil and pasta soup. The best lentils to use are the tiny Italian ones (there are several good varieties), but North American brown ones work just fine.

                                                                                                                                      SAGNE E LENTICCHIE (lentils and noodles)

                                                                                                                                      For the soup:
                                                                                                                                      1 pound (450 g) lentils, picked over and rinsed well
                                                                                                                                      1 bay leaf
                                                                                                                                      at least 1.5 level teaspoons salt
                                                                                                                                      3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
                                                                                                                                      1 white onion, finely chopped
                                                                                                                                      2 cloves garlic, chopped
                                                                                                                                      2 cups (550 g) tomato puree
                                                                                                                                      1 small piece dried chile

                                                                                                                                      Before serving:
                                                                                                                                      8 ounces (225 g) or less pasta (most traditional would be fettuccine or maltagliati)
                                                                                                                                      2 tablespoons or more best-quality extra virgin olive oil for finishing

                                                                                                                                      Put the lentils in a 4-quart/liter pot, preferably terracotta, with 6 cups (1.5 liters) water and the bay leaf. add 1 level tsp salt, bring to a boil, then cook, covered, over low heat until tender but not mushy (20 min for elite Italian lentils to about 45 min, so check often).

                                                                                                                                      Keep some boiling water on the stove to add to the lentils by the ladleful if they begin to look dry or to make the soup soupier.

                                                                                                                                      Put the oil in a separate saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Sauté gently over low heat until transparent, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato puree, chile, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook for 20 min or until the sauce is visibly reduced and the oil comes to the surface. Add this sauce to the lentils. Taste for salt, especially if you have added a lot of water to the lentils.

                                                                                                                                      At this point you can hold, even freeze, the lentils until you're ready to continue. Add the pasta only very close to serving time.

                                                                                                                                      Heat the lentils gently and add 2 cups lightly salted hot water, stir in the pasta, cover the pot, and cook over low heat until the pasta is al dente.

                                                                                                                                      Discard the bay leaf, stir in the oil, and let the soup rest a few minutes before serving.

                                                                                                                                      The lentils will absorb a great deal of water. If you add more, be sure to adjust the salt.

                                                                                                                                      Source: "Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way" (W.W. Norton 2013)

                                                                                                                                      1. Despite good intentions this is my first contribution to this thread and it is to report a real bust. I had been meaning to make a Turkish Red Lentil Soup from the Boston Globe since it was first published a year or two ago. It has red lentils, chickpeas, rice, a bit of tomato, onion, celery, jalapeno (or other hot pepper, I used serrano), paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes (Maras or Urfa recommended, I used Maras) and water. What makes me maddest is that my instinct was to change a number of things about the recipe but I overrode those instincts and followed it. She has you soak dried chickpeas overnight, then saute the aromatics and spices, add the tomatoes, then add lentils, chickpeas and rice, coat with spices, add water, and simmer "for about 30 minutes". I thought, hmmm, will the chickpeas really cook as fast as the lentils? Answer: no way. They are still barely cooked after over an hour and the lentils are total mush. Wish I had followed my instincts and given the lentils a head start. I also thought to use part or all chicken broth instead of water and that would have been a big improvement too. Even though I have now doubled up on all the spices, it is still bland, bland, bland. Once the chickpeas are finally done I will see if I can resuscitate it all with some more Maras pepper, some spinach and a bunch of lemon juice, but I am pessimistic. Live and learn -- if you are an experienced soupmaker, follow your instincts, they are likely correct.

                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                          I make red lentil soup all the time, and have never added chickpeas nor rice. Also has some spice but not as much as yours calls for. Broth, not water,where to heck is the lemon juice, and mint is a prominent flavoring. Sorry, guess I just negated the whole recipe, but don't be afraid to try again, starting from scratch. It SHOULD be a 30 minute soup. This is one of our favorites!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                            Thanks coll, yes I have made a soup along your lines and loved it. I liked the idea of the different textures in this one but should have known better than to follow those directions. And lemon juice in lentil soup is always a must in my book -- I was surprised to see this recipe lacked it.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                              I do like chickpeas in soup, glad you reported so I'm never tempted to try it in red lentil ;-)

                                                                                                                                          2. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                            As someone who usually like the Boston Globe recipes but has been burned before I looked this up. It seems that they have a red lentil soup every winter. In 2012 they use dried chickpeas but in a copy cat recipe they printed in 2013 it read "1/2 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained or 1 can (16 ounces)chickpeas, drained" so maybe they were aware of their bad instructions in 2012.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                              Here's an excellent, vegan, purist version, http://www.ecurry.com/blog/soups-and-... I up the sumac - a flavoring I love. Leave out the carrots. The lentil-cumin-sumac-mint combo is sublime.

                                                                                                                                            2. Split Green Pea Soup

                                                                                                                                              For this soup I used ham broth instead of chicken broth or water. Also, I included smoked paprika, leeks, parsnips, along with carrots, onion, celery to compensate for not adding chopped ham. Plus, no ham bone. However, G diced some pancetta and rendered that before adding the vegetables. Garlic, chopped thyme, and 1/2 pound green split peas were the remaining ingredients.

                                                                                                                                              The soup was delicious. A little soupier than I thought it would be but with the ham broth and diced rendered pancetta there was a good meaty flavor. This soup was plenty filling with all those diced vegetables.

                                                                                                                                              1. CHICKPEA & PANEER BASMATI BOWL – p. 32 – LCBO Food & Drink Winter 2014

                                                                                                                                                I was immediately attracted to this one pot meal and I thought I’d add it here since it’s soup-ish when you first make it. I prepared it on Sunday for a couple of weeknight meals and it wasn’t much of a surprise to find that the mixture became thicker and more stew-like as the days passed…oh and even more delicious as well!! Even my meat-loving mr bc didn’t miss meat in this high-protein dish. I just can’t say enough good things about this recipe and without a doubt it will become a family staple. Next time I’m going to omit the basmati so the dish retains its more soupy texture and then we can serve it atop rice if we wish or simply scoop it up with some pillowy, warm naan.

                                                                                                                                                If anyone is interested in the recipe, let me know. The LCBO puts them online about a month after their magazine comes out so I’ll keep an eye out for it and paste a link here if you’re interested.

                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                  Yes, please, post the link! I love Indian flavours and assume that it is. Also love chickpeas and paneer in various incarnations.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                    Coming back to this thread and just noticed that I have the same Dansk pot as you, Breadcrumbs. Does yours burn/heat up as easily as mine does? It's really hard to sear without burning in it, even at medium heat.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Today, I made a black bean soup. I started looking for a recipe, and then I realized that I really didn't need one.

                                                                                                                                                    I did a quick soak of the beans, and then covered them with water and put them to boil. I sauteed some onion and garlic, and threw those into the pot with the beans. In went three serrano chiles, roughly chopped. I added a fair amount of cumin and a healthy dash of oregano. A can of Italian tomatoes that were crushed by hand went in next. It all simmered for about 3 hours or so. There seemed to be two types or ages of beans in the bag -- some of the beans cooked really quickly, but there were quite a few stubborn, hard ones. When those softened up, I used my stick blender to partially blend the soup. I was really happy with how it came out -- as was the family!

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                      Sounds wonderful for this cold night. Experience is really the best teacher, isn't it. LOL

                                                                                                                                                    2. Cuban Black Bean Soup

                                                                                                                                                      I based this on a recipe from It's All American Food by David Rosengarten. My changes were to half the recipe, use canned black beans and use ham/chicken/bean stock left from a Split Yellow Pea soup I had made prior. I also discovered I was without a lime so subbed bottled mojo sauce instead.

                                                                                                                                                      A sofrito (green and red bell peppers, onion, jalapeno) is cooked in bacon grease and olive oil. Once softened minced garlic, cumin, ground coriander, ground cloves and oregano (I used Mexican) are added for several minutes. The mix is added to the beans/broth and cooked around an hour. Just before serving lime juice (would have been better than my mojo) and chopped fresh cilantro are stirred in. S/P to taste. The recipe suggests garnishing with sour cream, cilantro, chopped red onion and crumbled bacon. I skipped the sour cream.
                                                                                                                                                      I served over rice.

                                                                                                                                                      This is a very clean flavored black bean soup. The lime juice would have been just the right touch. Nicely flavored and perfect for a cold night. The bacon and bacon grease could be easily left out. If a meatier soup is desired smoked turkey or chopped ham would be perfect.