1367 Bean Vegetable Soup TTT

another weather event, sorry to bore you, but I can’t get over how pretty it is

The above photo was a few days ago, a fluffy bunch of stuff in two nights: 4″ then 5″ on top of that.  As you can see, the sun is out and predicted to be so for the near future, so we decided to wait and let nature take its course. In the meantime, it seemed fitting to make a batch of my favorite soup.

pretty nice stuff, all available all winter

The name is derived from 1367 Union, where I spent days and months in that kitchen adjusting Ferry Plaza Farmers Market ingredients until this soup was just right. [Written AS MEASURED AND COOKED SEPT 2012]
Cook your beans in a clay pot or by another method, with a miripoix.
Store in the refrigerator in their liquor until you’re ready to use them.

On soup day:
Peel and cube 3 medium potatoes [300g] and reserve in cold water to cover.
Chop two slices of bacon in about 1/2 inch pieces. [I use thick pepper bacon from the meatcase at my supermarket.]
Start the bacon in a bit of olive oil in the Green Le Creuset pot until it has rendered most of its fat. [At the same time, brown two fresh Italian sausages, if you’re using them.] Add a rough chopped onion and sauté until crisp tender. Add a two-2-finger-pinch salt/pepper mix. Add garlic to taste and cook until fragrant.
Add about an inch of celery [100g] chopped from the top of your head, 3 medium carrots [100g], sliced, potatoes and their soaking potato water to your pot. Add a two-2-finger-pinch salt/pepper mix and stir.
Add broth — if needed — to barely cover. Add a bit of dried thyme and oregano.
Cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Add half of a medium cabbage, chopped or sliced. Add cooked meat (ham, sausage if using) here, if you want.
Add 2 cups beans and their liquor.
Add enough stock to make it soupy.
Bring to a simmer and turn off the heat. Salt and pepper to taste.

this soup is brothy with the vegetables in chunks to allow each to show off its taste and texture… and there are no whimpy little vegetables such as corn or peas to get in the way

The deal is, when you use fresh ingredients in suitable proportion and cook with care, the result can’t be bad.


Cooked 2.16 — RG Alubia Blanca, young, tiny, tight red cabbage, two links of LO grilled Merguez sausage.
Cooked 1.16 — Iacopi Italian Butter Beans. Browned 2 links Basque Chorizo sausage with the bacon, cut in thirds, removed and then “sauteed “ the onions in that liquid. Lends a bitchin’ richness to the soup. Used home made *enhanced* turkey stock. Red cabbage. Did not use bean liquor ‘cause C is afraid of beans. Most Yummy.
Cooked 11.14 — RG Yellow Eye beans 2C+, 3C homemade beef broth, pinch of oregano, t of thyme. YUM
Cooked 6.14 — Cassolet beans RG, LO cooked beet greens: shredded [‘cause I had no cabbage], redskin potatoes, chicken broth… no meat except the bacon used to cook the LO greens and used to cook this dish. Good anyway.
Cooked 11.12 — Inspired by “Crispy Potatoes” brought home from CAMPO. Otherwise, did the regular recipe, but didn’t have any cabbage, pity. Not bad, but better with fresh potatoes and cabbage.
Cooked 10.12 — Had about 1 1/2 cups LO Italian Butter beans that weren’t cooked to creamy softness. Started with 2 slices of bacon in a bit of olive oil, cooked and removed bacon. Added 1/2 chopped onion, some garlic, 1 1/2 sliced slender carrot, sliced stalks of a fennel bulb, three whacks of celery, one potato cut into matchsticks, the beans and their juice and some chicken stock. Cooked 12 minutes. Pureed with immersion blender. Pretty good, beans still a little grainy.
Cooked 9.12 — Checked quantities and method and re-wrote recipe — see original on page 3
Cooked 7.12 — about 3 cups Bobs Bountiful Black Beans… about 1/2 pound slab bacon very thick sliced… DIS is good, still.
Cooked 4.19.12 — With shaved Fatted Calf Picnic ham + plus some of Brian’s Polish sausage… Dexter beef stock. C took 2nds
Cooked 3.28.12 —
Cooked 9.10 – Iacopi Italian Butter Beans, spring onions, with cabbage… added 1C raw CP raw tomato sauce at end… otherwise as written. Cooked in Joyce Chen Wok. Still good. C scarfed and took LO for tomorrow lunch.
Cooked 5.10 – Iacopi Italian Butter Beans, spring onions, green garlic, with cabbage… otherwise as written. Cooked in Wendell Wok. Still good.
Cooked 3.10 – regular way. Iacopi Italian Butter Beans, about 1 1/2C, 1 potato, 2 slender carrots, about 1/3 head small savoy cabbage. In calphalon Windsor pan. YUM This just got better and better as I ate it over days in two-cup portions. YUM YUM

Cooked 2.10 w LO Super Bowl vegetables: carrots, romanesco, fennel, green beans, baby zucchini, red and yellow bell pepper, Brussels sprouts, celery, Tokyo turnips. Bacon, spring onions and garlic as directed. No cabbage. Yes potatoes. About 3 cups water, 3 cups chicken stock, 1-cup turkey stock. Cooked in Joyce Chen clay pot.
Cooked 1.10 – In Wendell wok with spring onions and the other stuff, plus cabbage… eye of goat beans that had been cooked with a ham hock.

NOTE: This is very similar to simply recipes.com Minestrone except that Minestrone has zucchini, parsley and tomatoes. Other minestrone has green beans and spinach, as well. So its really not very similar at all.

Can o’ Soup (NOT)

It was a cold, gray Veterans Day in Reno — OK, mid-50’s is SF weather — but gray in Reno seems especially gray as most days are so bright and sunny-warm looking. A hot can o’ soup seemed appropriate for my lunch (C is already into her cold yogurt).

Actually, a POM jar of Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye beans has been front and center in the refrigerator for a few days, those would be good with tomatoes. I found a can of Raley’s Petite Diced tomatoes in the pantry and asked Carol if she had a use for the bulk sausage she bought the other day.

“Nothing special,” she said. So there’s that. I drained the beans and tomatoes into a small bowl to catch the juices.

Probably should chop an onion to sauté as a base course, but I hate to chop a whole onion for a little lunch, maybe a shallot. We didn’t have a shallot, but did have a cippilini onion; even better. I rough sliced that across the grain and started it going in olive oil and a bit of butter. After five or six minutes, I squeezed some fingerfuls of sausage out of the tube and into the sauté pan and stirred it around until all the pink was gone.

onion in the pan with some olive oil and a bit of butter

added sausage to the pan

Added the beans and tomatoes together and stirred around and added some pinches of salt and pepper. Needed liquid, so I added back about half of the bean/tomato juices, got it bubbling and let that go on for a few minutes.

added beans and tomatoes

looks like lunch

Tasted. Good.

I can’t seem to do a straight out of the can lunch, and a cold lunch on such a day as today just doesn’t appeal to me. For me, a lot of the joy of eating comes in finding some things to put together.

Bean Stew (YUM)

A Great Day

… and a soup day

I had a great day today.
When I got up at 6:30 to make coffee, the temperature was 46°F, but it was snowing. I went back to bed as usual, and when I got up for good at 7:30, the temperature had dropped to 24°F and it was snowing hard, but with no wind.

6:50am I took this to show Carol in case the snow went away before she got up.

It snowed on until noon, first those tiny flakes, then bigger, fluffy ones. I measured four inches.

12:30pm The snow did not go away.

I love fresh snow. It is so pretty and everything is silent and still.

Won’t be going out today except to shovel, so I got busy in the warm indoors.

Made a Christmas gift for brother Wendell. It’s pretty cool, but I won’t disclose it here. That took the morning, because it required some thought and research.

Then I turned my attention to Turkey Barley Soup. It’s so good, that it can become a turkey leftover tradition. There is something very satisfying about making a hearty soup on a cold and snowy day.

Soup is an assembly process and it is like T’ai Chi to me to move around the kitchen, collecting vegetables and chopping, assembling the ingredients, stirring the big pot.

The big pot of vegetables. I like it because it’s wide and makes for easy stirring.

Lovely garlic from the spring farmers market

I especially liked working with the garlic that I got at the Farmers Market in the spring and hung in the kitchen to dry. It’s beautiful garlic and a joy to peel and smash.

The shopping was interesting. A key ingredient of the soup is pearl barley… not something you find just anywhere. Carol happened to be in Trader Joe’s — although we don’t usually shop there except for my favorite salted peanuts — and she got barley, but it is “ten minute barley.” Not the same, we cook the barley for this soup an hour or more.

On another day, we were in Raley’s and I cruised the rice and grain aisle. Astonishingly, there were three women with carts and me with no cart in that aisle all at once. Since I needed to peruse the shelves, I stood aside and mentioned I was looking for pearl barley. “I’m looking for pearl barley, too,” said a woman about my age. She found it first and offered me a package.

“You must be making Turkey Barley Soup,” I said, since I got the recipe last Thanksgiving from the Reno Gazette Journal.

“Yes,” she said, “I am.”

The recipe with plenty of pictures is in last year’s post, Turkey Left Over, but I made some modifications and clarifications, so I will repeat it here.

Based on an amalgamation of recipes and making stock much of my cooking life.
Yield, about 8 cups.

In a large stockpot, place Turkey carcass, and cover with water. When the water is nearly boiling, remove the pot from heat and pour off the water. (This takes care of the blood and scummy stuff so you don’t have to skim much.)
Cover the turkey carcass again with cold water, about 12 cups. Heat to a near simmer and add 2 each carrots and celery stalks; 1 onion, quartered; 1/2 lemon, rinsed and quartered; some peppercorns, a bay leaf; an herb bouquet. Cook uncovered at a bare simmer for about 2 1/2 hours. Turn off the heat and let stand for an hour or so. Remove meaty bones, strain the stock and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, skim any fat from the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to 8 cups.

I borrowed this method from Tom Colicchio, in his book Think Like a Chef.
Nancy Horn does her stock in the oven (her recipe is below).

Nancy Horn of Dish Cafe and Catering Co.
Yield, about 3 quarts soup.
This soup is all about barley absorbing turkey broth, so make your own broth for the best soup. Store bought canned broth just doesn’t cut it, in this case.

Place a dutch oven (my 6Q white Le Creuset) on the stove over medium high heat. Add 1 Tbsp each of butter and olive oil. Peel and chop 3 carrots, 3 celery stalks, 2 large leeks (tender parts), 1 large yellow onion. Add to pot, along with 1 bay leaf. Stir and season with salt/pepper mixture and sauté until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown around edges. [Takes about an hour to this point.]
Peel and smash 4 cloves garlic; add to pot and cook a minute. Add 1 cup dry white wine and stir to deglaze the pot. Simmer to reduce wine by half.
Add 8 cups turkey stock, bring to a simmer and add 1 cup pearl barley and 3 sprigs thyme. Stir well to incorporate. Simmer, covered, stirring every now and then until barley is tender, about 1 hour.
Chop and stir in 1 bunch Italian Parsley and 2 cups shredded cooked turkey. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Adjust amount of stock for brothyness. Serve with Romano or Parmesan cheese.

I use a salt/pepper mixture of 2 parts kosher salt, 1 part coarsely ground pepper.
Instead of parsley I used a small, young and tender bunch of Swiss chard,
torn in pieces and stems removed. (At our winter Garden Shop Farmers Market there’s a guy that grows hydroponic vegetables in a cold frame. Young, tender Swiss Chard year ’round.)

That, my friends, is yummy soup. Even better the next day for lunch.

TURKEY STOCK – Oven Method
Nancy Horn of Dish Cafe and Catering Co.
Yield, about 6 quarts.

Preheat Oven to 225°F.
In a large stockpot, place Turkey carcass, 4 each carrots and celery stalks; 2 onions, quartered, unpeeled; 1 lemon, rinsed and quartered; 6 peppercorns, 3 bay leaves; an herb bouquet. Cover with cold water. Cover and place in oven for 12 hours.
Remove from oven, remove solids and strain. Let stand for at least an hour and skim or otherwise remove fat.

Good Mother Sierra Chili

Sierra Canyon Chili Cookoff

A Sierra Canyon tradition……homemade chili tasting!! Taste your way through 9 different chili’s…and prepare to be dazzled! Our contestants plan to tantalize your taste buds with their favorite Chili recipes. Your $5 Tasting Fee includes a salad station, tasting of all entries, soda, beer, water and a small bowl of “non-contestant” Chili prepared by Sierra Canyon’s own Don Chess. Sign up at the front desk today!

Number 2 in your program, Number 1 in your mouth.

Goodness gracious…!!! I happened to read that just after I made Southwestern Black Beans with Chicken Soup; a recipe I got from the Reno Gazette Journal (RGJ) By Nancy Horn, chef, co-owner of Dish Cafe. That was good; used a tablespoon of Chili Powder and other interesting spices. I thought that with subtractions and additions this could make a fine chili.

Out with the potatoes, out with the chicken, in with some cubed beef, in with some spicy Italian sausage. Out with the onion/celery/carrot mirepoix, in with a chili friendly onion/celery/green bell pepper mirepoix. Interesting that her soup used no tomatoes, but tomatillos. I went with that.

I’m not new to the chili game. It’s one of my favorite soups — and I’m a soup guy. Back in Ought-Seven, about this time of year, I posted an essay called CHILI: My Top Five.

Since then, I’ve found a couple others that I like a lot, but — feeling in an adventurous mood — I wanted to go with this whole new concoction.

I did a test recipe, ate it, then tried it on son Brian and his wife. It was a few days old by then, but with chili, that’s a good thing. I liked it a lot for the second time. Brian observed that it had good chili flavor and was spiced just right — both of our sons are “supertasters” — but the meat chunks were too big… they shouldn’t be much bigger than the beans.

some ingredients: mirepoix, cubed chuck steak, Spicy Italian Sausages

my test batch with cilantro

carol’s serving gussied up with cilantro, grated cheese, and sour cream

That was good stuff as noted, and passed the Brian test a few days later.

I had some Whole Food Spicy Italian Sausage left over, so I experimented with lil-tiny meatballs.

making lil-tiny meatballs out of spicy italian sausage

Take a sausage, remove the casing, cut in half lengthwise, cut each half into rough cubes and roll between your thumb and forefinger to get a lil-tiny meatball.

browning the balls

Not so hard, and they browned nicely. (I ate my test samples with some leftover roasted celery soup. Yum.) Continue reading

Turkey Left Over

I’m just getting around to writing about our leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
If we don’t serve a turkey on Thanksgiving, Carol likes to buy one anyway, just to have turkey leftovers. I’m no fan of sandwiches — as you must know by now — so I’ve made Turkey Pot Pie which is pretty good, and other kinds of soups and stews. This year, I was attracted to the Dish it Up column in the Reno Gazette Journal (RGJ) for Turkey Barley Soup. That column is written by Nancy Horn, owner of Dish Cafe and Catering in Reno. As you shall see, she writes about home-style food that tastes good.

The RGJ has a really good food section that appears on Wednesdays. It usually has five full pages and covers things interesting enough that I usually read it all. This week — January 23 — for example:

Do they cut the Mustard: We blind taste 11 national brands…
Dish it Up: Pantry Raid! Southwestern black beans
Courtney’s Kitchen: Chicken won tons, Orange beef by Courtney Barnes of Gourmet Rooster
In One Ear: Tidbits, sightings and buzz from Northern Nevada’s food and drink scene.
Tilapia steamed with soy sauce, ginger by Sara Moulton (AP)
Sweet potatoes loaded with cheese and kale by Elizabeth Karmel (AP)
Poached eggs over ricotta and arugula by J.M. Hirsh (AP)

Surprise! The the Dish It Up column for the week of November 27 was for Turkey Barley Soup. I wouldn’t be writing this if the soup weren’t incredibly good and EZ and the leftovers great. It seems as though it would freeze well, but ours wasn’t around long enough to try that.

start chopping… onion, celery, carrot

Continue reading

Finally, Fresh Pea Soup Defined

Peas loving their own pods with a potato sidekick.

Old subject, new take…
My take on peas and fresh pea soup has been evolving over the years as chronicled on eats…


June 2006

Sweet Pea & Green Garlic Soup by Janet Fletcher, SF Chronicle — where chicken (or vegetable) broth makes the soup soupy…

May 2009

English Peas and…
in this case, pasta, inspired by Tom Colicchio’s book, “Think Like a Chef.”

April 2010
Fresh Peas and other fresh things… where I took off from a recipe sent by son Eric:

Fresh Pea Soup
“Here’s what we’ve been serving on our table recently. Recipes from Eric & Alison’s Tilth Table, November 1998 (From the River Cafe Cook Book)”

It is real good, but fairly standard, using chicken broth as the soupy vehicle.

December 2011

carrots x 3 + peas
I made this dinner back in fresh English pea season, but then got involved with going to Kyiv and so on. I finally got around to publishing it because the colors are so fresh and beautiful.

tri-colored carrots

May 2011

Fresh Pea Soup
I’ve been working on the perfect fresh pea soup for some time. After a few tries, I found one from The Washington Post that made some sense to me.

“A surprising amount of flavor can be coaxed from spent pea pods by simmering them in water.”

Why wouldn’t anybody think of that? Continue reading

A Moving Meal

Bean Ragout a la Bon Appitit, Barbara, Lidia and me.
I was inspired by White Bean Ragout with Toast I read about in Bon Appetit on the drive home from our last scout trip to Reno. That recipe is all about building a flavor base for what is essentially a white bean and tomato bread salad made soup by adding liquid. The soffritto, an Italian blend of chopped cooked aromatics is that flavor base. That’s fine, but the recipe makes about 3 cups of soffritto and only uses 1/2 cup… refrigerate or freeze the balance for use in many strange and wonderful ways. Well… I’m trying to EMPTY the freezer.
I do have a container of Lidia’s Soup Base in the freezer. (Lidia Bastianich: if you don’t know her, you are missing out.) I’m not sure what’s in it or why I made it in the first place, but I’ll bet it’ll be good with white beans. So I got that out to thaw and I’m on my way to some kind of bean soup or stew. I checked my recipe files and glommed onto Barbara Kafka’s Bean and Kale Soup.

So I had a plan, and all I needed was the Kale. I’ll start with Barbara’s Bean and Kale Soup but substitute Lidia’s Soup Base for the broth and borrow the croutons from the Bon Appitit recipe.

The ragout is cooked and croutons in the bowl.

Ragout on the table.

Feast in the midst of chaos.

That was delicious.

Lidia’s Soup Base turned out to be a bit tomatoey and garlicy and made it really great with the beans and greens. I used farfalle pasta — which I don’t much like — but we had a bunch of it in the cupboard, so using it up is a good thing.

Here’s what I did:

Bean & Kale Ragout with Croutons
Adapted from Bean & Kale Soup, from Soup: A Way of Life by Barbara Kafka
Altered and rewritten by Marcus, Judith Jones style.

Makes about 5 cups; 4 first-course servings.

Wash and trim 1 bunch kale and in a medium saucepan, over medium heat, cook the kale with 1?2 cup (125 ml) water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt until tender. Drain and coarsely chop the kale, reserving any liquid that remains.

Rub some slices rustic bread with garlic, drizzle with olive oil and bake on a baking sheet at 400°F for about 5 minutes until just right. (I keep slices of bread in the freezer for this purpose, and bake in the countertop convection oven.)

Very finely chop 2 flat anchovy fillets together with the 1?4 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves or dried. Reserve.

Put on enough water for 1/2 cup shell pasta and cook for 5 or 6 minutes (half the time on the package). Reserve in its water if necessary.

Smash and peel 2 garlic cloves and in a medium saucepan, stir together 1?3 cup (80 ml) olive oil and the garlic over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the garlic is pale gold, about 10 minutes. Take the pan off heat and stir in the anchovies and rosemary for 1 minute. [A furious sizzle ensues when you throw the anchovies into the very hot oil.]

Discard the garlic. Put the pan back on heat and stir in the kale and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to thoroughly coat it with the oil. Stir in 1 cup drained, cooked small white beans (or rinsed canned beans). Cook for 3 minutes.

Stir in the reserved kale cooking liquid and 3 cups broth (here’s where I used Lidia’s Soup Base). Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and stir in 1?2 cup (60 g) of your partially cooked small shell macaroni. Simmer for 6 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Place 3 or 4 croutons in each serving bowl, top with the beans greens and broth.

Pass Parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper at the table.

I noodled around in my recipe database and actually found a recipe I might have used for Lidia’s Soup Base — a part of larger cook-most-of-the-day Hearty Minestra Base with Cranberry Beans, Potatoes, and Pork

It is not so different from the Soffritto of the Bon Appitit recipe. (Ironically, I rejected that recipe because I didn’t want to make the soffritto, only to discover I had something similar in my own freezer.) So I altered Bon Appitit to make it tomatoey, and suggest that. I’m not sure I’m right and I haven’t tested this, but it seems a lot like Lidia’s other soffritto recipes. When I get moved, I promise to test it.

Faux Lidia Soup Base
Garlic — finely grate 3 garlic cloves.
Chop 3 medium onions and 1 red bell pepper — Pulse in a food processor until finely chopped but not puréed. Mix well in a bowl.
Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion mixture (it may splatter) and season with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring often, until vegetables are completely softened, about 30 minutes. Make a hot spot in the middle of your skillet; add the finely grated garlic and 2 teaspoons tomato paste and cook, stirring that into the onion mixture until tomato paste begins to turn deep red, about 3 minutes. Add a large can of San Marzano tomatoes with their juices. Break up the tomatoes with your hands or a wooden spoon and cook for at least 30 minutes until all the flavors are blended and the sauce is smooth.

Bon Appitit, as they say.
Yum, as I say.