Sunday, January 17, 2021

Winter #WFPB Bean Soup Extravaganza 006c Cranberry Bean Soup

 Next up a version of the soup with Cranberry beans, and this became a research project all its own, for these are known by more names than I'd care to shake a stick at - in some cases these might be local varieties that are closely related but the naming gets quite confusing:


  • Borlotti beans
  • Cranberry beans (the ones I used - see above) - the package equates them with Borlotti beans.
  • Roman Beans (Habichuelas Romanas)
  • Cargamanto beans - this seems to be the name in Colombia, where these beans may have originated, but the naming is again very confused, as even Goya has one package that equates Roman Beans with Cargamanto beans, but also has packaging that calls Roman Beans Habichuelas Romanas, and then again they sell white and red Cargamanto Beans, which are quite a bit more expensive. Perhaps they are the original Colombian variety.
  • Saluggia Bean, this may just be a small local variety
  • Gadra Bean (India)
  • Rosecoco Bean
Take your pick whichever name you will prefer, but stores may know it by one name and not the other, depending on the ethnicity.

Update on bean economics

  1. Red Kidney Beans were about $4/lb.
  2. Pinto beans were about $1.67/lb
  3. Roman Beans were about $1.67/lb, but I used Hunza orgranic Cranberry beans, at $7.50/lb.
  4. Dutch Bruine Bonen, this is from the you're kidding me, right? Dept.: I bought 5 500 gm packages, or 2.5 Kg, ir 5.51156 lbs, for $75.50 or $13.70/lbs and 60% of that was the cost of shipping. All in the interest of science - the science of beans.

The ever evolving recipe

Keeping the recipe constant and only varying the beans is easier in theory than in practice. Sometimes you cannot get all the ingredients, and sometimes it is just the urge to improve on something. Here is this week's list:

Ingredients

===the substance===
1 lb cups of red kidney beans (or pinto beans, or borlotti beans aka cranberry beans, or Dutch Bruine Bonen), dry
1 strip of kombu for soaking overnight
1 tbsp summer savory for cooking the beans
12 Oz block of baked seitan (kao fu) or alternatively a cup of TVP (Soy chunks).
1/2 lb of barley
===The Base===
1 tbsp of Tianjin vegetables
3 medium size yellow onions, cut-up fine
3 shallots or other small onion
6-10 cloves of medium sized cloves of garlic, minced
1-3 toes of turmeric, minced or 1 tbsp of turmeric powder3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup water with 1 tsp of Yondu for sautéing the onions and peppers
2-3 Thai chili, green
1-2 jalapeños, cut-up fine
1 green bell pepper
1 tbsp of ground annato seeds
===The Veggies===
1 leek, washed and sliced fine
3 bay leaves
1 cup of eddo.
3 stalks of celery, including leaves
2-3 red skin potatoes, washed and diced,
2-3 carrots peeled & diced
other root vegetables as might be around, turnips, parsnips, etc.
2 tomatoes, or a 15- Oz can of diced tomatoes
3 sprigs of thyme, fresh if you can
1 quart of vegetable broth
1 quart of water with Vegetable Better Than Bouillon
1 tbsp of either miso or gochujang at the end to finish the taste mild with miso or hot with gochujang

Note: no Seitan this week, so I used TVP instead (Soy chunks), also I added a parsnip, which I did not have last week, as well as some crushed/ground annato seeds for flavor and coloring.

Preparation

One thing I learned is that it works best to purée half the soup after it is cooked, cooking it after it is partially puréed tends to cause settling and potential burning at the bottom.
I think I like it best the purée about half the quantity, so that you have good substance, but you can also still recognize the beans.

The process really naturally falls into three steps, and I use two pots in the process, which also serves at the end to separately finish a mild and a spicy version of the soup.

  1. The soaking and pre-cooking of the beans. 1.5-2 hrs if you cook it with regulat cookware, or 10 mins with a pressure cooker - I use my Instant Pot.
  2. Cooking the base falls into roasting the onioins - 5 mins at 350F, in my HestanCue cookware, which is exactly the pint where the onions start to brown but don't burn. Then I add the garlic, turmeric and the othrr spices, and cook for another 5 mins at 350F to nicely caramelize the onions and blend in the other spices. Then I add in the beans stom the Instant Pot and let it go at 230F, i.e. simmering for 15 mins.
  3. The Veggies. During this process, I am cutting up the veggies, and slowly heating up the veggie stock (2 Quarts). Once I have them all in there, I add the base with the beans, and let the whole thing simmer as low as I can get it for 30 minutes to an hour.
That is really all there is to it.
At the end I split it in two, first to purée one half with an immersion blender, and next to finish one half mild with some miso dissolved in a cup of water, and the other half spicy with some gochujang, likewise dissolved in water.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Winter #WFPB Bean Soup Extravaganza 006b Pinto Bean Soup

This is the next installment of my Bruine Bonensoep Fusion project, and today it is time for the Pinto Bean variety.



I am making a minor tweak to the recipe, for some folk are very sensitive to hot spices like Thai chili peppers and jalapeño peppers, so I am toning that down. In other words, where it says 2-3 Thai chilis, I am now using 2 and where it says 1-2 jalapeños, I am now using 1. This will leave just a hint of spice, but then if you finish a batch with gochujang, you can satisfy the people who like hot and spicy, whereas finished with miso it can satisfy others who like things mild. One of my taste testers is a typical example. The husband likes it hot, the wife likes it mild.
In all, I found that I have a slight preference for the Pinto bean version, but only slight. I'll be curious to see how murky the picture gets after I do the Cranberry beans next weekend.

One major difference I created this week was that I made it more chunky style, as opposed to entirely smooth. Once I combined the sautéed onions and pepper with the beans, I puréed only 2/3rds of them and left the other 1/3rd in tact, plus then I also lefft the veggies in tact, as I did not use bhe blender again.

Ingredients

1 lb cups of red kidney beans (or pinto beans, or borlotti beans aka cranberry beans, or Dutch Bruine Bonen), dry
1 strip of kombu for soaking overnight
1 tbsp summer savory for cooking the beans
12 Oz block of baked seitan (kao fu)
1/2 lb of barley
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp of Tianjin vegetables
3 medium size yellow onions, cut-up fine
3 shallots or other small onion
6-10 cloves of medium sized cloves of garlic, minced
1-3 toes of turmeric, minced or 1 tbsp of turmeric powder3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup water with 1 tsp of Yondu for sautéing the onions and peppers
2-3 Thai chili, green
1-2 jalapeños, cut-up fine
1 green bell pepper
1 leek, washed and sliced fine
1 cup of eddo.
3 stalks of celery, including leaves
2-3 red skin potatoes, washed and diced,
2-3 carrots peeled & diced
2 tomatoes, or a 15- Oz can of diced tomatoes
3 sprigs of thyme, fresh if you can
1 quart of vegetable broth
1 quart of water with Vegetable Better Than Bouillon
1 tbsp of either miso or gochujang at the end to finish the taste mild with miso or hot with gochujang

I also added in a turnip this week... 

The Process

  • Soak the beans overnight (minimum 6 hours ideally, with the kombu.
  • Drain the beans and cook with water, including the kombu, and savory in the Instant Pot on high for 10 mins.
  • Meanwhile, cut up the onions fine and dry roast for 5 mins at 350F (Medium High)
  • Add in the minced garlic, minced shallots and chilis, pepper and turmeric and stir fry it for another five mins, adding about 1 cup of water with Yondu.
  • Add in the 2 pints of veggie broth. 
  • Add in the cooked beans 
  • puree with a stick blender, option to puree only half if you still want to see some beans. (in this case, I left 1/3rd of the beans whole.)
  • Add in the cut-up veggies, potato, tomato, thyme and seitan and simmer on low for 30 mins.
  • Add more water to gain right consistency and finish the taste with miso (mild) or gochujang (hot & spicy), dissolved in a half cup of water.

Notes: 

  • by adding some miso or gochujang at the end, you can actually make two batches, one for folks who cannot take too much heat, and the other for the ones who love heat. Do NOT Cook the miso, just blend it in at the end, dissolved in water.
  • If you cook the beans normally, it takes far longer, like 1.5 hours or so to pre-cook the beans. In short, the instant pot is a huge time saver.
  • It is your option if you want it chunky or smooth. I like to purée the beans right when I add the stock (to cool them off also). Then, if you cut your veggies fine, as well as cut your seitan into small cubes, you can continue cooking and have a chunky soup or, if you want it smooth, use your trusty immersion blender once more.
  • My annotations will change in terms of temperatures, but for the onions 5 minutes roasting at 350F is how it works on my equipment, but what it means is: roast it dry until the edges just start to brown, but before they stick to the pan of get charred. And then, you stir-fry them by gradually adding your water with Yondu for another five minutes. If your equipment has a temperature readout, it may well be different from mine. The result is what matters.
  • Getting the dried beans (Bruine Bonen) from Holland, now seems to be unaffordable, the freight is unworkable. so I am giving up on that idea for now.

Update on the bean counting

Meanwhile, I continuied my research on beans... All in the interest of science, shall we say. 

1) Red Kidney Beans - $2-3/lb (Organic nearly 50 - 100% more).
2) Pinto Beans - same thing, $2-3/lb, and organic 50-100% higher.
3) Borlotti Beans (aka. Cranberry beans) - regular 4 lbs/$16, which works out to $4/lb and Organic 50-100% more.
4) Dutch Bruine Bonen, Organic Dutch Brown Beans worked out at $11.42/lbs, including the freight, which amounted to $7.31/lb. I got 3 kg (6.61 lbs) for $75.50. In all with that amount I will be cooking a lot of Bruine Bonensoep.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Winter #WFPB Bean Soup Extravaganza 006a Kidney Bean Soup

After checking with some Dutch contacts online, there was disagreement if Dutch Bruine Bonen are most closely approximated with red kidney beans, or pinto beans, or some other kind of bean (somebody came up with a wild suggestion, about a bean variety I never heard of, borlotti beans, which I may also try), ideally, of course you would make it with Dutch Bruine Bonen. It should be noted that in Holland Bruine Bonen Soep is enough of a phenomenon so it has it's own website.


Anyway, my purpose no longer is to approximate my mother's recipes. My cooking has evolved over time, and it is now just a matter of improving the recipes. This time around, it will be a battle of the beans, between red kidney beans and pinto beans.

I will standardize the recipe, from the original post Dutch #WFPB Improv 001 Bruine Bonen Soep - Kidney Bean Soup

This first go-around will be with red kidney beans.



To make the comparison meaningful, I will standardize the recipe exactly. This is the beginning of #WFPB soup science.

 

 


 

Ingredients

1 lb cups of red kidney beans, dry
1 strip of kombu for soaking overnight
1 tsp summer savory for cooking the beans
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp of Tianjin vegetables
3 medium size yellow onions, cut-up fine
3 shallots or other small onion
6-10 cloves of medium sized cloves of garlic, minced
1-3 toes of turmeric, minced or 1 tbsp of turmeric powder
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup water with 1 tsp of Yondu for sautéing the onions and peppers
3 Thai chili, green
2 jalapeños, cut-up fine
1 green bell pepper

1 leek, washed and sliced fine.
1 cup of eddo, shredded.
3 stalks of celery, including leaves, sliced fine
2-3 red skin potatoes, washed and diced,
1-2 carrots peeled & diced
2 tomatoes, or a 15- Oz can of diced tomatoes
12 Oz block of baked seitan (kao fu) 
1 quart of vegetable broth
1 quart of water with Vegetable Better Than Bouillon

add more water as needed...

To finish: some miso (mild), or gochujan (hot), dissolved in a cup of water.

The Process

  • Soak the beans overnight (minimum 6 hours ideally).
  • Drain the beans and cook with water, including the kombu, and savory in the Instant Pot on high for 10 mins.
  • Meanwhile, cut up the onions fine and dry roast for 5 mins at 350F (Medium High)
  • Add in the minced garlic, minced shallots and chilis, pepper and turmeric and stir fry it for another five mins, adding about 1 cup of water with Yondu.
  • Add in the 2 pints of veggie broth.
  • Add in the cooked beans 
  • puree with a stick blender
  • Add in the cut-up veggies, potato, tomato, thyme and seitan and simmer on low for 30 mins.
  • Add more water to gain right consistency and finish the taste with miso (mild) or gochujang (hot & spicy).

Notes:

  • by adding some miso or gochujang at the end, you can actually make two batches, one for folks who cannot take too much heat, and the other for the ones who love heat. Do NOT Cook the miso, just blend it in at the end, dissolved in a cup of water.
  • If you cook the beans normally, it takes far longer, like 1.5 hours or so to pre-cook the beans.
  • It is your option if you want it chunky or smooth. I like to purée the beans right when I add the stock (to cool them off also). Then, if you cut your veggies fine, as well as cut your seitan into small cubes, you can continue cooking and have a chunky soup or, if you want it smooth, use your trusty immersion blender once more.
  • My annotations will change in terms of temperatures, but 5 minutes roasting at 350F is how it works on my equipment, but what it means is: roast it dry until the edges just start to brown. And then, you stir-fyr it by gradually adding your water with Yondu for another five minutes. If your equipment has a temperature readout, it may well be different from mine. The result is what matters.

Meanwhile, I did some research on beans... All in the interest of science, shall we say. Meanwhile, to satisfy the bean counter in me (after all, I am Dutch), I had to figure out the prices:

1) Red Kidney Beans - $2-3/lb (Organic nearly 50 - 100% more).
2) Pinto Beans - same thing, $2-3/lb, and organic 50-100% higher.
3) Borlotti Beans (aka. Cranberry beans) - regular 4 lbs/$16, which works out to $4/lb and Organic 50-100% more.
4) Dutch Bruine Bonen, at 10 Kg/EUR30 plus freight EUR 40, or at today's rate of $1.21 = $84.70. Equals $8.47/kg and = $3.84/lb and organic was about EUR 50/kg, so that works out again in the 50-100% premium range. You would have to buy at least 10kg to keep the shipping economical. So I would end up making Bruine Bonen Soep for a year.

Next week, we'll do it again, in exactly the same way, except with Pinto beans.




Monday, December 28, 2020

Winter Bean Soup #WFPB Improv 005 - Mixed Bean Soup with Summer Savory

 

Ingredients 

1 lb of any version of mixed soup beans, I used this heirloom bean blend, but you can get packages of 13 or 16 bean soup mixes.
1 piece of Kombu for soaking
1 tsp summer savory
8 cups vegetable stock (or 4 cup water, 4 cup stock or all water!)
2-4 onions, chopped yellow or Vidalia onions are great here
1 tsp savory
4-8 cloves garlic, minced
3 chilis minced
1 jalapeño minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2-3 stalks celery with tops, chopped
2-4 carrots, peeled and cut-up
1 tbsp of Tianjin vegetables
1/2 tsp of ground red pepper
2-3 dried bay leaves
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
small bunch of parsley, chopped and be added in the soup at the end, or added as garnish later.
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
juice of 1 lemon
 

Braggs Liquid Aminos to taste.
 

OPTIONALLY: other veggies as available, root vegetables such as parsnips, or taro (aka edo, or coco), turnips, ginger, fennel, celeriac, turmeric, potato, rutabaga, can also add in a green veggie like poi leaf or callaloo for the last 5-10 mins.

This time, I had poi leaf (Malabar spinach), taro, a large winter carrot, turnip. and mix of various peppers, not just one red pepper.

 

Preparation

Soak the beans overnight, and pre-cook them in an Instant Pot for 15 mins.



In a separate pot, cook the onions with the garlic, peppers, turmeric, celery, herbs and spices. Stir frying until they are soft, add water as needed. I used a cup of water with a teaspoon of Yondu.

Add the carrot and root vegetables, and the veggie stock - if you use water, you'll need something else for flavor, like Better than Bouillon or miso.

Let it simmer for a half hour and then add the green veggie. I used Malabar spinach this time. 

Evidently, you can fine tune just how hot and spicy you want it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Mexican #WFPB Bean Soup Improv 004 - Three Sisters Posole

I wrote about Three Sisters Posole (Pozole de Tres Hermanas) before, here

This time, I improvised a little further: 

Ingredients

2 cups dried blue corn posole, or hominy
1 cup tepary beans, or any kind of small beans ( I used navy beans this time)
1 cup barley (optional)
1-2 onions
1 tsp Yondu

2 medium zucchini
4-8 garlic cloves
1 tsp Savory

2+ tsp Mexican Oregano
1- Tbsp ground red chili, and/or, use some chilis and/or jalapeños chopped up with the onions - adjust quantities accordingly.
8 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp arrowroot, corn starch or potato starch
1 lime
Sea Salt to taste

Notes: 

You can obviously enrich this soup many different ways. I added one king mushroom, with the onions, garlic, at the outset. I use savory mostly in any dish that involves beans. I also cooked both the hominy and the beans with a piece of kombu.

Adding some Yondu in the stir-fry at the outset is one of the steps that increases the depth of the flavor. In my soup stock, this time I used one quart of store-bought veggie broth and one quart of water with about 1.5 tbsp Better Than Bouillon.  


 

Preparation

  • Cook posole for 2 hours until tender - or shorter if using a pressure cooker. (Hominy in Instant Pot for 15-20 mins on High pressure)
  • Cook the beans separately 1.5-2 hours until tender (Instant Pot for 7-8 mins or so).
  • In a large pot, add the minced garlic, chopped onion, any peppers or chilis and stir-fry for 5-10 minutes, starting with a dry roast, and gradually adding 1 cup of water with the 1 tsp of Yondu.
  • Add the cut-up zucchini, savory, oregano, ground chili, and vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  • Add the cooked posole and beans and barley if using. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.
  • Dissolve the 2 tbsp of arrowroot into the soup last and mix in well to thicken.
  • if necessary, add sea salt to taste
     
  • Serve with warm tortillas, wild onions, or scallions. and a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

More Yondu Magic: Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes

This recipe was developed based on an online cooking demo by Yondu. It really proves the versatility of Yondu, which evokes a naturally aromatic flavor from veggie dishes like nobody's business.

The version that was presented in their online cooking class for meatless Mondays used EVOO, which is generally assumed to be healthy, but we know better, so in this version, I eliminated it, but in the process I think I proved the versatility of Yondu even more.

Quantities in this example are for 2 people.

Ingredients

8 Oz Whole Wheat Pasta, or whatever other type of whole grain pasta you desire.

Mushrooms

  • 2 cups/ 7 Oz assorted mushrooms, sliced
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, sliced paper-thin
  • some chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • 1 cup of water with
  • 1 TBSP of Yondu
  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper

Zucchini Tomato Stir-fry

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4-8 cloves of garlic, sliced paper-thin
  • 2 cups of zucchini, sliced in 1" section and cut in eights.
  • 1 cup (or more) of cherry tomatoes.
  • some fresh basil garnish
  • to taste perhaps 1 TSP Yondu (see under preparation)

Preparation

Note: Order is important here, cook the mushrooms first, using a 11" frying pan.

Mushrooms

  • Clean the mushrooms and wipe with moist paper towel, do not soak in water, so they don't get soggy. Just wipe off any dirt. Slice them to about 1/8" thickness.
  • Now roast the mushrooms over medium flame, so they begin to release moisture, stir lightly occasionally.
  • When some browning occurs, but before they start sticking to the pan, add splashes of the water with Yondu, and eventually let the water evaporate completely, so there is no appreciable liquid (they will still look moist).
  • Add in the crushed red pepper during the process. 

Here you can clearly see the mushrooms cooked dry, and a rim around the pan which is really Yondu with essence of mushrooms, so you can scoop out the mushrooms and garnish them, meanwhile reusing the same pan for the veggies, and de-glazing it first.

 

 

 

 Zucchini Tomato Stir-fry

  • De-glaze the pan from the mushrooms and Yondu with a splash of water.
  • Cut up the onion fine and begin roasting it briefly, ideally some edges starting to get brown, but it should not stick to the pan.
  • Cut up the garlic fine while you do this, and then add the garlic.
  • Stir in some of the water, no additional Yondu may be needed as you are de-glazing the pan and the residue may be enough. Optionally, you can add more, if you want a stronger taste.
  • Add in the cut-up zucchini and the cherry tomatoes, and slowly drizzle in the rest of the water, stirring occasionally, until  the zucchini starts to get soft throughout.
  • After the cup of water is boiled off, now you should add a few cups of the cooking water from the pasta, to sort of create a gravy with the garlic and onions.
  • Serve and garnish with some fresh basil. 



 

Meanwhile, while you are cooking the veggies, boil 8 Oz of spaghetti, or linguini and make sure you keep the cooking water at the end.





Saturday, December 19, 2020

Pea Walnut Mint Dip - with Yondu

 Super simple!!!

 

Pea-Walnut-Mint Dip with multi-colored veggies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3rd cup walnuts
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • a sprig of mint leaves
  • 1 TSP of Yondu
  • 1/4 cup of water

Preparation 

Put the ingredients together in the bowl of a small food processor and blend together, voilà it's done. Finger licking good. Serve with some favorite raw veggies.

Note: the Yondu really does work wonders here!!! 

 

Recipe came from a Yondu cooking presentation, I just got rid of the olive oil... rest is the same as they did. You need to make sure you add the water in the food processor bowl, this is too heavy to process dry.