Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mixed Bean-Lentil Soup with Spinach, Tomato, and Homegrown Fingerling Potato, served with Broccoli Sprouts and English Muffin Half with Herb-Garlic French-style Vegan Cheese (Almost No Added Fat)

Early today, my daughter asked for bean soup, pulling out a bag that I had of a dry bean mix (I think it had maybe a dozen types of beans and lentils). She loves soup, and I was happy to make it for her. My wife experimented with planting fingerling potatoes and harvested her first 3 or 4, which I also included in the soup.

A friend brought some herb-garlic Treeline brand cashew-based soft French-style "cheese" back from Washington, DC recently. It's tasty and the fat content is not excessive; 11g of fat per ounce, and the container contains 6 ounces. I used a smear, which couldn't have been more than 1/4 ounce (or less than 3g of fat), on an English muffin half for a side.

  • 1 1/2 cups mixed beans, rinsed and soaked overnight, then rinsed one more time (the bean mix that I used were all small beans and included lentils, so a 4-hour soak time and 30-minute cook time was more than enough)
  • Medium tomato cut into 1/2" cubes (maybe 3/4 cup)
  • 3-5 fingerling (or other type) potatoes cut into 3/8" pieces
  • 8 ounces frozen (what I used) or fresh chopped spinach
  • 1t ginger, finely (1/8") chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion cut into approx. 3/8" x 1 1/4" half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely (1/8") chopped (I was running late when I started the cooking so skipped this, but added garlic powder to taste at the end)
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • Enough water to bring contents to about 5 1/3 cups total (I'm guessing maybe 2 1/2 or so cups)
  • 2T lemon juice
  • 1/4 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t (or to taste) salt
  • (optional) 2T nutritional yeast
  1. I put all the ingredients except the lemon juice, oregano, salt, and nutritional yeast into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and simply pressed the "Soup" button to pressure cook for 30m.
  2. When I was ready to serve, which happened to be several hours later (the machine keeps food warm for some hours), I was able to simply open the pot (otherwise, I'd want to slowly release pressure and open carefully)
  3. I mixed in the lemon juice, oregano, salt, and nutritional yeast, and served, along with the English muffin and broccoli sprouts

Everybody liked dinner!

Ideas for the future

I should make soups more often. This could have benefited from fresh garlic with the other ingredients instead of (or in addition to, perhaps) the garlic powder. A little bit of wine cooked with the soup would add a nice nuanced flavor. Other vegetables, like celery, carrot, and cabbage would go well cooked with this soup.

I should try a pasta e fagioli bean and pasta soup sometime. It sounds like it would be easy to just add uncooked pasta with the beans and other ingredients and cook together. I'll bet a rice and bean soup would be good, too!

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