Sunday, October 3, 2010

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall


Another post about beans? Well, not really…sure, there are beans in this dish, and the whole thing started because of the beans I got at the farmer’s market, but when all was said and done, whether the beans had been included or not, what I ended up with was a pot full of goodness.

I have been seeing cranberry beans at the market for a few weeks now, and was taken by their ostentatious shells.  I’d never seen them before and had no idea what they were like, but I’m a sucker for pretty produce, so I grabbed a few handfuls. After visiting a few other stalls, I ended up with a bagful of soup makings.

Cranberry beans, I read, are mild in flavor and can have a nutty taste.  You prepare them like any other bean, bringing them to a simmer and cooking until tender.  Easy enough.


My goal was to make a soup that had both the waning flavors of summer, and the newly arrived flavors of fall.  Basically, I was able to clean out all my produce bins.  I love dishes like that.


Spicy Vegetable Soup

3/4 pound unshelled cranberry beans (I forgot to measure the yield)
3 small Yukon gold potatoes
1 small fennel bulb
3 baby carrots
1 stalk celery
1 leek
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 ear of corn
1 purple bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
3 hot peppers
2 tomatoes, seeded

6 cups chicken stock

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Shell the beans.  In a small pot, add beans and enough water to cover them.  Let simmer uncovered until tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain and reserve.  (And don’t be alarmed that they turn an odd shade or grayish-purple when cooked.)  If you can’t find cranberry beans, just substitute with your favorite kind.

Remove the corn kernels from the cob, mince garlic, and chop all other produce into a large dice.  (Try to keep pieces approximately the same size for even cooking.) 

In a large pot, heat olive oil and add onions, leeks, carrots, celery, fennel, hot peppers and season with salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, then stir in potatoes.  When the potatoes and carrots are starting to soften, stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add chicken stock and check seasonings.  Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender.  (Time will depend on size of pieces.)  Lastly, stir in beans, bell peppers, corn and tomatoes and simmer for another 5 minutes or so.  (Be careful not to overcook as the beans will get chalky and the peppers mushy.)

(I meant to add pasta to this, but completely forgot.  The soup doesn’t need it, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt.)

Serve with bread on the side for dipping.


This broth packs a little punch (depending on the peppers you use) and turns a standard vegetable soup into an exciting one.  All the ingredients contribute in their own way, producing a very flavorful bowl of soup.  The beans do in fact have a little nuttiness, and bites including them are very full bodied.

I feel good about my farewell to summer soup.  It was somehow both light and hearty at the same time.  And I had to wholeheartedly agree with Andy when he said, “I can’t wait to eat this again!”

And I just had to sneak in one more photo of these gorgeous veggies.  (It makes up for the less-than-gorgeous photo of the soup.)

51 comments:

  1. How pretty are those beans??

    Soup sounds wonderful.

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    Replies
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  2. What a beautiful color palette representing two colorful seasons. The soup looks delicious, and so hearty and healthy. Love all of the ingredients you used. I've never come across a purple bell pepper, how cute.

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  3. Wow, look at that pepper! Gorgeous pics of the veg. I feel wholesome and healthy just looking at them.

    The soup looks delicious.

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  4. Oh Goodness! I love Fall and Winter for this very reason: soup making weather! Beautiful pics.

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  5. I've never had cranberry beans, but they look interesting. I'm always looking for a good vegetable soup - the only success I've had is a basic minestrone.

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  6. Hi Karen, Thanks for your nice comment and for joining my blog. I have never seen Cranberry beans before. They are so pretty. Soups are always a big hit at my house. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Let's visit soon.
    Greetings
    Kirsten

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  7. These are some gorgeous photos of local ingredients! I've never seen cranberry beans before but I'll keep my eye out for them!

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  8. I have never heard of Cranberry beans-- and where did you find a pepper that shade of purple? It is beautiful! I am in a soup mood, too. I made 2 soups today to get us through the week. As soon as fall weather starts I am in soup/stew mode!

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  9. A great time to start making soups! Yum!

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  10. I love veggies soups and spicy ones are sooo much tastier!

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  11. These beans are so pretty to look at..Love your soup..so warm and satisfying !!

    Best Regards
    Sulagna
    http://e-senseofspicenfragrance-sulagna.blogspot.com/

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  12. Soup always works for me. Nothing like homemade vegetable soup to warm your tummy and your "spirits." Beautiful fall vegetables. I have never seen a purple bell pepper, nor have I heard of it. Yummy soup!

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  13. Those cranberry beans are so cool. Your soup looks just the way I like it, rustic and hearty! Very nice recipe!

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  14. I never cooked with cranberry beans before. They are so pretty! I love the photo of the fresh veggies also.

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  15. I love those beans! I like the idea of the spicy broth, I hope I can find some at my market! Thanks for sharing.
    -Gina-

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  16. I too love dishes like that! No shame in making something scrumptious out of what would otherwise go to waste. You pictures are absolutely lovely. And the soup sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. I have been making soup lately too. Usually, I have made many batches of homemade stock. Love your purple pepper!!!

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  18. beautiful colors and a wonderful soup for this autumn.
    kiss
    alimonia

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  19. All these beautiful veggies gathered in one soup. How can someone resist?

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  20. So glad fall is here for this Georgian! Beautiful veggies & recipe!

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  21. What a wonderful way to use up the produce that has accumulated in the fridge. I over bought at the farmers market again so I have plenty for a pot of soup.

    I'll have to look for cranberry beans. I don't know how I've missed them with that beautiful pod.

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  22. seriously, photos of summer/fall produce would make the most beautiful wallpaper! :)

    The soup looks lovely and comforting and thanks for an intro on cranberry beans!

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  23. Those veggies are gorgeous, and that picture with all of them together just screams BOUNTY! I love it. The spice in the soup sounds great and unexpected.

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  24. Wow, this looks super delicious and colourful!

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  25. Beautiful! This soup looks fantastic and I love the colors!! I can't wait til the weather cools down in Arizona so I can try this!! Thanks for sharing!

    Jenifer

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  26. How interesting, I've never even heard of cranberry beans. I love their colour! Your veggies look absolutely gorgeous, they really do. What a colourful pic. I bet your soup tastes even better than the veggies look.

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  27. What beautiful pictures; everything looks fresh and good; I've never heard of cranberry beans. I just made a vegetable bean soup similar to yours; real fall food.
    Rita

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  28. Karen, I love to visit here. I always learn something new and I love the food and recipes you feature here. Add the wonderful camera work and it becomes a special experience. Continued success. Blessings...Mary

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  29. I really love this soup :) I have never seen Cranberry beans, will have to look for them...

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  30. I'm trying to think of what cranberry beans are known as in Australia as I have definitely seen them in fruit and vegetable stores and possibly in cans as well. The name makes perfect sense though with the ripples across the beans' surface!

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  31. The beans are gorgeous! I've never heard of them before and I need to stop by some local markets to see if I can pick to some up! Thanks for sharing!

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  32. ohh... i'm so excited about soup weather. thanks for the yummy recipe! hello fall indeed!

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  33. Beautiful, colorful ingredients! I have never seen a purple pepper before. Love it!

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  34. congrats on the top 9...and I love beans but I don't think i have ever cooked w fresh beans - I will have to look around this weekend at the market

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  35. Looks delicious and congrats on the top 9! Where did you find the purple bell pepper? I picked some up in Oregon recently but no one else I know had ever seen them before. Love the beans, too!

    Best,
    Veronica

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  36. what a lovely post! Thanks for following me and for your nice comment on my blog!
    keep up the good work!
    annalisa

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  37. Beautiful pics and Awesome recipe. Thanks for sharing

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  38. Ooh, I would love a bowl of this right now-it looks so delicious and healthful!
    Congrats on the Top 9 too...

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  39. Good stuff Karen! This looks like the kind of soup to eat in front of the fire place with a blanket after coming in from the cold. I lived in the snow belt in NJ for most of my years so I know all about that. :D

    I love the photos too. They add up to a much deserved top 9. The purple chile is really cool.

    Cheers!

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  40. I've got split pea soup on the stove right now. I love, adore and really like soups when it gets cold. Sweater and soup go together. I love the spicy in your vegetable soup! I'll have to give it a try.

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  41. With fall upon us, I've been stockpiling delicious soup recipe for when it gets colder in SoCal! I'll definitely be saving this one to try soon - it looks delicious!

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  42. The soup looks divine. I could use some right now (my feet are freezing!). Congrats on top 9. Oh, and I am a sucker for pretty produce too!

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  43. This sounds like a soup i would definitely enjoy and I love those cool-looking beans! What a find! :)

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  44. Wow, I have never before seen a purple capsicum - who knew!?

    This looks delicious. We're on the downhill run to summer here now, but there is nothing like a pot of warming soup when the weather starts to turn. :)

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  45. really glad i follow foodista on twitter. otherwise i would have seen this. you pics are excellent. the writing is nicely spaced between photos as well. great goal in wanting to write your own cookbook. take it from this non-pro trained cook. i learn more from my mistakes than the successful dishes.

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  46. Wow that purple bell pepper is to die for. I wish we could find that kind of stuff where I live but we don't have farmers markets, the supermarkets dont have much variety, and we have no space for a garden. Love your blog!

    itsallaboutalifestyle.blogspot.com

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  47. A.K.A. borlotti beans :-)

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