Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Cannellini Vegetable Soup = tasty and easy

At the Durham Bull Pen household we've decided to become more knowledge about cooking with all kinds of dried beans. Instead of popping open a can of beans--which are full of sodium--now we buy and use dried beans (which are usually zero sodium). We especially like the heirloom beans.

You can learn a lot about heirloom dried beans, and even order some for cooking, at Those folks have a neat site there.

Last summer at our favorite open-air market on the way to the mountains, we loved to scoop out bags of all kinds of varieties from the big barrels, like this:

I mean, who could resist beauties like these "yellow eye beans" that we found in one of the barrels--and also found on the ranchogordo site linked above:

Check out ones like "Christmas lima beans" and "goats eye beans."

The somewhat imprecise recipe for the Cannellini Vegetable Soup: in a few tablespoons of olive oil saute' up some diced onion, chopped garlic, diced carrots and celery in the bottom of your soup pot. Once the veggies are slightly soft, add in the cannellini beans (which have soaked overnight in water), some diced tomato, and a 32 oz. container of veggie broth or chicken broth. I added some fresh rosemary from my yard, and some course ground pepper, and a couple of pinches of hot pepper flakes. Let it all simmer for an hour or so. The amount of veggies and spices is up to you really. It's hard to screw this up. Re-use the water the beans soaked in by watering your plants or flushing your toilet (this applies particularly to Durham residents.)


Jeff Hart said...

somehow goats eye beans sound inherently evil. ever hear of goat's head soup?

toastie said...

Excellent. I was just invited to an Italian potluck. (Cannellinis are Italian, right?) Did you make this recently? If so, where did you get the beans? If not, where does one find such beans around here? Would Whole Foods have them. (I know nothing).

Durham Bull Pen said...

Hi toastie!

Yes, they are Italian. This site I found says Cannellini beans are "The Pride of Tuscany."

I made this soup on the night I posted about it last week. The dried beans I had for a while in my pantry and can't remember where I got them, but I'm thinking any grocery store would have them, including Whole Foods.

Let me know if you make the soup and take it to the potluck. It sounds like good eats will be there for sure. Italian Potluck? Yum.

toastie said...

I think it's actually a dinner party, but I don't feel like I'm the type of person who goes to dinner parties. The hosts are providing a main dish and asked guests to bring an Italian side dish or wine. It was very timely that I saw your recipe. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Judy Chicago said...

I'm curious how the dinner party went.

toastie said...

The dinner party is on Sunday. I talked to my friends hosting it tonight, and they are referring to it as a "family-style" dinner. I like the sound of this, since it will basically consist of people who don't have families and, therefore, don't have family dinners.

toastie said...

I've gotten bogged down with all sorts of other matters, but I do still intend to share some detail about how my soup/stew turned out last month. It was received very favorably, to my surprise (not because your recipe was bad, just questioned my ability to make anything edible). Thanks again for the idea. I will share exactly what I put in mine when I recover the notes I had scribbled out, and I think I snapped a photo or two at some point.