Recipe: Earthy Bean Soup with Fresh Greens and Herbs

Sometimes things just work out.  A mood strikes you.  A craving develops.  You get an idea, start moving on it, and it all comes together.

Like this soup.

Bowl 3 - edited

My mood had me wanting something that I could cook lazily, with a relaxed vibe.  Slowly chopping vegetables, stirring in spices, and watching something simmer away.

My craving called out for something earthy and rich with simple, yet deep flavors developed from quality ingredients.

My idea was to sort through my pantry to see what beans or legumes may be lingering about, waiting for just the right meal.  Then, I headed to the farmer’s market and strolled through the booths, seeing what would catch my eye.  I became intrigued by a beautiful bunch of misome, a green I had never even heard of before.  The vendor explained it was an asian green and could be used similarly to spinach, kale, or chard.

misome 3 - edited

Perfect.  I took that bunch of misome home and this soup was born.

And it hit every right note.

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Earthy Bean Soup with Fresh Greens and Herbs

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dry beans (I used a combination of great northern and orca beans), soaked overnight in pot - edited
  • ½ tblspn olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium celery stalks, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (+ water if needed)
  • ½ tblpsn smoked paprika
  • ½ tspn salt
  • ¼ tspn black pepper
  • 1 bunch of fresh misome or spinach, chopped
  • 1 tblspn fresh marjoram
  • 1 tblspn fresh oregano

Directions:

  1. Warm olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion, celery, and carrot and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables just begin to soften.
  2. Add bell pepper, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, coating the vegetables with the spices, for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, soaked and drained beans, and vegetable broth.  If your broth does not cover your beans, add a bit of water until it does.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until beans are cooked through.
  4. Add in chopped misome or spinach, along with the marjoram and oregano.  Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper as desired.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, just enough time for the greens to cook down.  Remove from heat and serve.

Updates: The Countdown Continues, Breakfast Greens, and Hooray for Learning!

Hello!  This is a quick post to share some updates on what’s been going in the Move Eat Create household.

* I am excited to say that training for my first half-marathon is progressing nicely.  The countdown is now officially at 57 days until the big event.  For the first few weeks of my training, I’ll be honest that my self-doubt was nagging at me that I may not be able to do it.  I am pleased to report that somewhere over the last week or two, I have turned a corner.  I am feeling confident about my ability not only to finish the race, but to do so with a time that I can be satisfied with.  I am by no means the fastest of runners yet, but I do seem to be continuously knocking off seconds from my average pace times, so things are looking good.  The race takes place 3 days after my birthday, so I’m also getting excited about birthday and half-marathon celebratory shenanigans!

** I recently finished reading The China Study and Eat to Live.  Both are exceptional books about nutrition and the benefits of plant-based

© Ersler | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

diets.  Focusing as much on what to eat, as what not to eat, they clearly detail the many benefits of greens and have inspired me to make a change to my daily food habits.  Although I already eat quite a lot of vegetables, I have added a large bowl of leafy greens to my breakfast this week.  Simply dressed with a few sunflower seeds, salt, pepper and some flavored vinegar, citrus, or ponzu, I’ve been eating it before the rest of my breakfast items.  It has really been making a difference in my morning, as I used to start to get pretty hungry about an hour before I ate my lunch, but I’m staying more full and satiated throughout my morning.  And, I’m starting off my day with a bowl full of tasty nutrients.  I can’t beat that!

*** Have you heard about Coursera?  Several elite colleges and universities have been moving forward with finding ways to provide some of their courses available for free online.  I am super excited about this movement, as I think creating access to continued quality learning opportunities is a great thing.  Coursera is a fairly new platform for some of these opportunities and several courses are now available for registration.  I have registered for a couple of courses, starting in the fall and winter, and am interested in several more.  Learning, in just about any format, helps me feel nourished and inspired.

**** Finally, Mr. Move Eat Create’s birthday is this weekend.  I’ll be baking a birthday cake, with hopefully a good balance of indulgent goodness and wholesome goodness, too!  I’ll report back on this one, I’m sure.
Happy Friday!