I know that at this season lots of us are looking for creative recipes not just to use the pumpkins we are accumulating but to use the last of the fresh produce we are purchasing from CSAs or farmers’ markets or harvesting from our garden. The recipe that I posted last night was so popular that I thought I would continue to post others over this week.
This soup is one of our favourite. I have slowly perfected it over the years (at least i think so) as the produce in our garden has proliferated and I have needed to get more creative in the ways that I use it. It can be adapted to take advantage of what is cheap and easily available at this season or better yet what is still flourishing in the garden. The only true essentials are the beans, wheat berries or you could substitute quinoa, onions, tomatoes and cabbage.
1 cup dried beans (use Scarlet Runners from the garden or large lima beans)
1 cup wheat berries or 1 cup quinoa
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1 lb fresh tomatoes, chopped, or 14 oz canned tomatoes, diced or quart jar of homemade marinara sauce
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 cup carrot, peeled and cut in ½-inch chunks
1 lb cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 lb chard, kale or collards, chopped
½ lb green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch lengths
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp salt
ground pepper to taste
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup winter squash, chopped
½ cup mushrooms, chopped
Soak beans and wheat berries in separate bowls overnight. Drain and set aside. Cook dried beans until just tender (45 min – 1 hour). In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until soft. Add garlic, sage, and rosemary and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add soaked wheat berries, tomatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until wheat berries are al dente (1 – 1½ hours). If using quinoa no prior cooking is necessary. Add cabbage, squash, mushrooms, carrots, green beans, garden greens, and soaked beans with their liquid. Cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender (15 – 20 minutes). Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper.
This soup can be adapted to take advantage of whatever vegetables are most plentiful.