Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sweet Potato and Bean Soup

I was inspired to make this particular soup after having dinner with a friend the other night. She made a black bean sweet potato chili which was quite yummy. I had made corn muffins to go with it, and when I came across this soup with similar ingredients, I knew I had to make it to go with those left over muffins. Its a chunky, hearty soup that is filling enough for a main meal. It was also great as left overs. The first day I had it served with a corn muffin. Then for left overs the next day, I had it served over a bed of basmati rice, and today I had it served over some left over mashed potatoes. They were all delicious.
The first step of this recipe is to make the beans. This gave me the chance to redeem myself after my baked beans failure  last week. I used a 15 bean mix because that's what I had at home. The one down side to this mix is that because the beans are different sizes, they cook for different amounts of time. I found some of the smaller beans to be on the mushy side while the really large beans weren't as cooked as I would have liked them. On the other hand, the nice thing about the mix is it contained a little bit of barley which was a great addition.

How to bake beans from dry:

1 Cup of 15 Bean Mix (or other dried beans of choice)
3 Cups of Water
Salt if desired

1. Put beans in a large pot and cover with lots of water and let soak over night. 
2. Drain the water and rinse the beans well. 
3. Place the beans and 3 cups of water in a large pot and add the salt if using. Bring the beans to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook the beans until tender. I cooked mine for about 45 minutes ( see notes above about the doneness of the beans). 
4. Drain the beans over a pot or bowl so that you can keep the cooking liquid for the soup broth. 

Sweet Potato and Bean Soup adapted from this recipe by Sarah Britton (My New Roots)

2 Cups cooked beans ( from 1 Cup dried) + 2 Cups cooking liquid
1 small red onion, diced
2 leeks, chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium sized sweet potato, chopped in large chunks
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 Tbsp clarified butter or butter (stay tuned for a post on clarified butter)
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp crushed chilies
2 tomatoes, diced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

1. Puree 1 cup of the cooked beans with the cooking liquid using blender or immersion blender. If you don't have a full 2 Cups of cooking liquid left, just add enough water to make up the difference. 
2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat and add the coriander, cinnamon, and chilies. Stir just long enough to get a nice smell without the spices burning ( a couple of minutes). Add the onion, leek, and garlic and cook until the onion starts to soften. Add the other vegetables, and stir to mix. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes. 
3. Add the whole beans and bean puree and cook over medium-low heat until the vegetables are tender ( about 15 minutes). 
4. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup, cilantro and lemon juice. Season to taste.
5. Serve hot garnished, with a drizzle of olive oil and cilantro sprigs. 

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