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.