A hot, winter soup that is both hearty and nourishing.
Black Turtle Bean Soup
It’s mid-February, that time of year when you start to wonder whether winter is ever going to break. It’s also a great time to cook up a big pot of Black Turtle Bean Soup. This soup is hearty and flavorful, that it will warm (and cheer you up) even when the night-time temperatures are still loitering around in the teens.
You can of course buy the beans in cans or even in bulk, but the soup tastes even better when you grow your own Black Turtle beans. Growing soup beans is easy. Just plant the seeds like snap beans, but instead of picking the pods when they are green, let them dry on the plant until they are a rich brown color. Then harvest and shell them, and wallah! You've got beans for soup that you can use all year round.
RECIPE - Black Turtle Bean Soup
Soak 2-3 cups of dry beans overnight.
Drain the beans and add fresh water, covering the beans so that there is about an inch of water above them.
If you are not cooking vegetarian, add 1 raw marrow bone for flavor.
Cook in a slow cooker until beans are soft (about 4-6 hours). You can also cook them in a large pot on the stove.
Then add the following and cook until vegetables are soft:
2 TBS apple cider
1-2 cups chopped carrots.
1 chopped onion
½ celeriac root or ½ cup celery chopped
1 cup turnip or rutabaga if available
1 1/2 tsps cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Red chile peppers or chopped green hot peppers to taste
Salt (to taste)
After cooking until all the vegetables are soft, ladle half of the soup into a blender or food processor, and return to the pot after.
Serve with chopped fresh cilantro, shredded cheese and a swirl of plain yoghurt on top.
Note: Gilfeather turnips are a real treat if you can find them. You can buy these turnips as well as all other Black Turtle Bean soup ingredients at Greenfields Market, which just started carrying Ox and Robin seeds this year.