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:


===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.


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.

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