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.