Friday, December 11, 2009

Good simple soup

In winter, few things are as comforting as a bowl of hot soup. Rich, savory soup such as what you see before you, with some bread to go along with it, can make for a nice, simple, satisfying, healthful and frugal meal, with little enough effort on your part.

Red kidney beans, barley and potato soup

1 cup of red kidney beans, soaked overnight

2 onions

1 carrot

2 large potatoes

1\2 cup of pearl barley

1 sweet bell pepper

6 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp. of tomato paste

1 tsp. salt

1,5 liters of boiling water

Chop the veggies as you like. I like my onions chopped finely and my potatoes diced, but some may like chunkier potatoes and onions sliced to rings.

A bit of hot pepper (I used fresh; I have grown to really like using fresh hot pepper, finely chopped, though of course you might use the dry and powdered version. Whenever I use fresh hot pepper, I make sure to thoroughly wash my hands with soap afterwards – otherwise my hands sting and burn later)

Spices to taste. I used a dash of red paprika, cumin and turmeric.

The great thing about soups is that some or all ingredients, more often than not, can be easily varied, doubled, halved, replaced, and even omitted. Some of the best soups I ever made were simply whatever veggies were left over in the refrigerator, chopped and tossed into boiling water, spiced and simmered.

You must make sure that the vegetables that take longer time to cook (such as carrots) are added earlier than others (such as tomatoes).

Take a large pot and sautee the onions with a bit of oil for a couple of minutes, then add the boiling water and the beans. Let cook for approx. 10 minutes. Add carrot, potatoes and pearl barley. Wait another 5 minutes and add sweet pepper, then garlic, fresh hot pepper if you use it, and tomato paste. Add salt and spices to taste and let the soup simmer until the beans are soft (they typically take longer than everything else).

If the soup is ready but the beans are not soft enough for your liking, next time you can let them cook a longer time before adding anything else.

PS: I probably won't be able to squeeze in an update before Hanukkah, so a happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish readers


Jo said...

That soup look very yummy - could almost smell it:)

God Bless

Anonymous said...

This looks wonderful. I am enjoying your blog!

Otter Mom said...

The soup sounds wonderful! I've been looking for a new recipe to try, I think that I've found it. I'm glad you mentioned washing your hands after handling hot peppers, they can be evil when you touch your eyes after cutting them!
I'd like to wish you and your family a Happy Hanukkah.

Anonymous said...

Yumm, that sounds so good....I just made a shepherd's pie using whatever veggies I had in the fridge.
Happy Hanukkah to you too!
Mrs. G

Chicks in the City said...

This looks yummy! I am going to try it for next Shabbot. Thanks for sharing!

Happy Hanukkah to your family, too :)


Rose said...

Nice recipe Anna, I like the amount of beans. A happy Hanukkah to you, Mr T and Shira.

Jessica said...

Happy Chanukah, Anna! As always, I enjoy your blog immensely (I've been reading for about 2 years now). Love, blessings, and prayers to you and your lovely family.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rachel said...

Oh, Anna, this meal will be such a money stretcher! Especially for those of us on a limited budget, a bag of dried beans and some potatoes costs (relatively) so little. And for a meal that takes so little "effort" on our part, wow...I'd likely make a loaf or two of artisan bread to go with it, and some butter...yum. Especially on cold winter nights (like this one).

We're having a chili dish, so not tonight...but maybe next week! Thanks for the idea--I've got this post saved in the "favorites" under "FOOD" Always on the lookout for a new recipe to "eat from the pantry"...

And an early "Happy Hanukkah" to you and yours!

Anonymous said...

Yum yum!

Fruitful Vine2 said...

I love soups. Red bean soup is one of my favorite. I've never had it with barley though - barley is not a known food on the island.

Lady Anne said...

Ooh, that sounds delicious. Here's my favorite "Oh, heavens! Look at the time!" recipe:

2 leeks, white and pale green parts, sliced thin
1-2 tablespoons oil
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed (cannellini or navy or whatever)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup packed fresh spinach
1/4 cup couscous

Saute the leeks in the oil until soft. Add the beans and broth and simmer for 5-10 minutes. (I use a kosher chicken-flavored bouillion cube, so I don't add salt.) Toss in the spinach and couscous and simmer another 5 minutes. Serves two, generously. (If you can't put your hands on fresh spinach, a half package of frozen will do just as well.)


My Thoughts and Musings said...

Dear Anna,

This recipe is delicious. I made it on Saturday for my husband and me, and he loved it. He is still raving about it. :)

This was one of my first attempts at soup: I had no idea it was so easy.

Thank you for sharing this.