Posts tagged ‘beans’

January 25, 2012

Minestrone

I could eat soup at almost every meal. I say almost, because there’s still brunch and breakfast to consider.

Propped, Prepped

One of my favorite parts about this recipe is the fact that for most people, a grocery trip might not even be necessary. I needed to pick up a zucchini (That’s right. Just one.), some broth, and pasta. THAT’S IT!! For me, that’s an incredibly short shopping list for something that’s a) so, incredibly delicious and b) SO much food.

Minestrone
Inspired by Cooking Light’s Slow Cooker

3 c dried Great Northern beans
5 1/2 c chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large red onion
1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 medium carrot, chopped
32 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 c spinach
1 c kale
3 t Italian seasoning
1/2 t peppercorns, ground
1 c small pasta shells, uncooked (Aren’t you glad I didn’t make the MINIstrone joke?)
1/2 c Parmesan cheese

Have Halved

In a slow cooker, pour in your Great Northern beans. Top with water. Two inches above the beans will be sufficient. Crank it up to high for two hours, until fork tender.

Pour chicken broth into a large dutch oven and turn heat onto medium.

Mince garlic, chop zucchini, and dice onions. Sauté all. Once browned and smelling delicious, add mixture to broth. The broth should be hot enough to look like this:

Add sautéed vegetables and carrots to the broth. Add tomatoes. Add spinach and kale.

Add spices. Mix together. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for about two hours. Okay, you can simmer for about 30 minutes and get a similar effect, but the longer it goes, the more concentrated the flavors will be. After two hours (or until you don’t feel like waiting anymore) add your miniature shell pasta. Bring back up to medium heat, and boil the pasta in the soup. (Oh, the flavor!! The intensity!) Once the pasta is cooked through, the beans should be ready from the slow cooker. Add.

Spoon into a bowl (with or without a piece of crusty bread waiting at the bottom of the bowl). Top with Parmesan. Enjoy.

As a side note: Feel free to use beans from a can or precook your beans (as I could’ve/perhaps should’ve done) and add when you add the tomatoes.

This makes a LOT of delicious soup. After you add the pasta and the beans, be prepared to add more seasoning. Also, be prepared to freeze at least a portion. This is the gift that just keeps on giving.

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February 19, 2011

White Bean & Dark Green Stew

What can I say? I’m smitten. That Deb over at SmittenKitchen.com (right here) is brilliant and fun and funny and a great, wonderful inspiration to an aspiring homecook extraordinaire.

Don’t over do a serving on this stew. It is hearty. Don’t, for example, try to test its temperature by serving yourself a bowl, thinking you’ll heat it up in the microwave, forget to heat it up in the microwave, then be forced to serve yourself another bowl and top it up correctly.

Here’s my first bowl::

I didn’t even give myself time to take a picture of it before I had mostly devoured it. Please take the time to savor your stew.

White Bean & Dark Green Stew
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen

1 lb turnip greens, stems chopped off and leaves cleaned
2 c spinach
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 c carrots, chopped
1 c celery, chopped
1 large shallot (Use your judgement here. You can definitely use more. I just had one on hand.)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 c white wine, dry
4 c white beans (If using canned, use about 2 15-oz cans. Drain and rinse them.)
2 1/2 c vegetable broth
1 28-oz can tomatoes, crushed
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Thyme
Bay leaf

If you’re using dried white beans, pour beans into a crock pot. Pour 2 and a half inches of water over the beans. Cook on low over night.

In a medium pot, boil salted water.

Once the water boils, add turnips and let boil for one minute.

Drain and squeeze precooked turnips. Coarsely chop. Set aside.

Drain.

Then, chop.

Meanwhile, pour out the water, wipe dry, and add 3 T extra virgin olive oil to the pot.

Peel the carrots.

Then, chop them.

Add to the olive oil.

Chop the celery. Add to the olive oil and carrot.

Peel the shallot(s).

Chop the shallots.

Smash the garlic.

!!

Peel the skins off the cloves then chop nicely. Then add to stove.

 

Scrape down those sides!!

After fifteen minutes, add 1/2 c white wine and 1/2 c vegetable broth. Cook that down until it’s reduced by three-fourths.

Add beans, tomatoes, the rest of the vegetable broth, a few pinches of salt, freshly ground black pepper, thyme, and bay leaf and bring to boil.

Crushed tomatoes, added. Next…

…The beans.

Then the vegetable broth. Reduce heat to medium-low for 20 minutes. Add turnip greens and spinach and cook for 5 minutes longer. Make sure you give spinach and turnips a proper introduction. Spinach, this is Turnips. Turnips, Spinach.

Turn heat off. Put  a lid on the dutch oven. Go get your haircut. Come back. Enjoy!!! Okay, the haircut part isn’t completely necessary. That’s just what happened for me.

Serve with toasted bread and monter (heh humm, Muenster) cheese.