Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Hearty Grain Soup with Beans and Greens

I mentioned this recipe when reviewing recipes from the February 2007 Vegetarian Times. But today, I really wanted more of a stew than a soup. So, I altered the recipe quite a bit. I'm so glad I did as it hit the spot. Today started as a rough day, as the air quality was terrible from the wildfires that are now in Florida. So I have had my air conditioning on to help filter the air, even though it feels really cold with the air on. But by this afternoon we got some desperately needed rain. And it has helped a lot to clear the air. I hadn't posted the original recipe for the soup, so here it is.

Hearty Grain Soup with Beans and Greens
Serves 6, Vegan

2 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (2 is better though)
4 cups filtered water or low-sodium veggie broth (plus more if needed)
1.5 cups cooked kasha or barley or brown rice
1 15 oz can (I think 24oz works better) crushed or chopped tomatoes or add 2 or 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 can or 2 cups cooked kidney beans (either cooked from scratch or from a can. If canned, rinse well before adding)
1/4 tsp dried oregano (or a sprig of fresh)
1/4 tsp dried rosemary (or a sprig of fresh) or Italian seasoning
1/2 lb kale (or chard), washed, trimmed and chopped
3 Tbs chopped fresh parsley (optional)
2 to 3 tsp balsamic vinegar

1. Heat 1 Tbs oil in large pot of medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until onion is lightly brown, about 5 minutes. If you are using fresh tomatoes, simmer them with the onions until soft.
2. Stir in broth, kasha or grain, tomatoes, 1 cup of the beans, and the oregano and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Press kale or chard into liquid, bit by bit, submerging it. Reduce heat to medium or simmer, for 15 minutes or so, until greens are tender. (If you use chard, it takes about 7 minutes).
3. Puree remaining beans in food processor. Add pureed beans, parsley and remaining 1 Tbs oil into soup. Stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Per serving: 201 cal; 8G prot; 5G total fat (0.5 Sat Fat); 34G carb; 0MG chol; 535MG sod; 8G fiber; 4G sugars

As you can see from the picture, I added some extra ingredients. I added one potato, 1 large shredded carrot, 1 leek, and I had added 1/2 cup of uncooked barley to cook along with the stew. Because of that, I simmered the liquid much longer than the directions before adding the greens, to give the barley the extra time to cook. Plus, the extra veggies needed time to simmer until tender. Once everything was nearly tender, I added all of the beans and greens and let them simmer until the flavors developed and the greens were tender. I didn't puree any beans before adding them, as my pot was already very stew-like, because I was simmering everything in as little water as I could get away with.
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