Thursday, March 18, 2021

Winter #WFPB Bean Soup Extravaganza 006h Rogier's Fusion Bean Soup

Again, small steps, big consequences. This week I tried Dominican Red Beans, and just a few small tweaks to the recipe.

For one thing, I had recently begun using some fennel in the recipe, as well as some Panch Puran, aka Panch Phoron which is itself a mixtutre of five spices, which conveys a rich aroma. It contains the following seeds: 

  • fenugreek
  • nigella
  • cumin
  • black mustard
  • fennel
Now, you can get it ground up, as a powder, or in the form of seeds. If you get it whole, the proper way of using it is to roast it in the pan before you do anything else. This step releases the flavor, you just have to watch that you don't actually burn the seeds. 

This time I used a tablespoon of Panchpuran with an extra tablespoon of fennel seeds. Personally, I found the fennel too strong in the resulting soup, but some others loved the fennel aroma, which shows you again how difficult it can be to satisfy all tastes. For the next time, I will still use the tablespoon of Panchpuran, but will reduce the fennel to 1 teaspoon instead of a tablespoon.

The new routine is now simply to pre-cook the beans with just the kombu in the Instant Pot, and then to create the base in my HestancCue Chef's pot, where the steps now are:
  1. Pre-roast the Panchpuran (whole seeds, not powder), and fennel. Sofar I am trying 7 mins at 300F. The trick is to release the flavor, but not burn the seeds. We don't need charcoal in the soup.
  2. Caramelize the onions, along with peppers, by dry roasting about 6 minutes at 350F
  3. Add in the other herbs and spices and stir-fry by adding a cup of water and Yondu, another 6 minutes at 350F, and next
  4. Add the other herbes and spices and the pre-cooked beans with liquid, and let it simmer at 230F for about 15 mins.

While it is simmering, I start to build the broth, and I let that simmer to the point that the veggies are getting soft, and then I add in the bean base and more water as needed (usually about a pint).

Then I let ic simmer together for 30 mins until it is time to take out the bay leaves and the cloves, and at that point I take out about 1/3rd or the soup, and the other 2/3rds are pureed with a stick blender.

The list of beans. This week it was the turn of Dominican Red Beans, so here is where we are on the list.

  1. Dutch Brown beans (bruine bonen - the reference bean)
  2. Roman beans (aka Cranberry beans, aka Borlotti beans, aka Cargamanto beans). A very close second indeed.
  3. Small Red Beans. On the heels of Roman beans.
  4. Pinto beans. Fine as well, but not as creamy, slightly flatter tasting.
  5. Red Kidney Beans. Totally delicious just as well. 
  6. Dominican Red beans, delicious. <Bean of the week, this week).
  7. Central American Red beans, next week.
  8. Pink beans - future.
  9. Red Cargamanto - future.
  10. White Cargamanto - future.

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