Black Bean Soup

  • This is a soup I make regularly and I love the colour contrasts.
  • It is a vegetable soup with black beans.
  • Black beans are also called turtle beans and are a variety of the common bean.
  • You can make it slightly different every time by altering some of the vegetables.
  • I use tinned black beans, which is easier but you can always cook them from dried beans – just takes longer.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 sticks of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 2 -3 carrots
  • 1 courgette 
  • 3 -4 tomatoes
  • 1 tin of black beans
  • 1½ litres of vegetable stock
  • 1-2 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

  • Chop the celery into fine slices.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces
  • Chop the carrots into small cubes.
  • Place the tomatoes into boiling water to remove the skins.
  • Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Chop the courgette into small pieces. 
  • In a saucepan melt the butter and gently cook the celery and onion for a few minutes.
  • Add the carrots and tomatoes and the stock.
  • Add the paprika and chilli flakes.
  • Mix well together.
  • Bring the soup to the boil and them simmer with a lid on the pan for around 20 minutes. 
  • Drain the beans from the tin and add these to the soup.
  • Season to taste,
  • Simmer for another 15 – 20 minutes.

Tuna Salad with French Beans

  • One of my friends from Leeds came round yesterday with freshly picked produce from her allotment.
  • Green & Purple French beans were amongst them.
  • I topped and tailed these and steamed them.
  • Sadly the beautiful purple ones loose their colour and are just a slightly darker green than the others.
  • I served some of them with buttered dried breadcrumbs – à la Polonaise and
  • Used the rest, cold, in this tinned tuna salad with other ingredients I had in my store cupboard and freezer. 
  • The proportions are not so important.

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of tuna chunks- in brine or oil
  • Crisp lettuce leaves 
  • Steamed French beans
  • Cooked peas
  • Cooked sweetcorn – frozen or tinned
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

  • Chop the French beans into small pieces.
  • Mix these with the peas and sweetcorn
  • Drain the tuna from the brine or oil and break up the chunks.
  • Mix the tuna with the cooked vegetables.
  • Add the lemon juice and mayonnaise and mix well.
  • Season to taste.
  • Shred the lettuce leaves.
  • Arrange lettuce leaves over a large plate plate or a shallow bowl.
  • Place the tuna mixture on top of the lettuce leaves.
  • Chop the hard boiled eggs into small pieces and sprinkle these over the top of the tuna mixture.

White Bean Potato & Sorrel Soup

  • Spring is upon us, though it is still cold.
  • Sorrel started to grow in my pots a few weeks ago – the first green to grow in my herbs.
  • I saw this recipe, which used rocket and thought I could use sorrel.
  • It is delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks – finely chopped
  • 300g salad potatoes – eg Charlottes – cut into small pieces
  • 1 litre chicken stock – can be from concentrate, cube or powder
  • 1 can white beans – butter, cannellini or haricot – drained
  • 50 – 100g sorrel leaves – chopped
  • 50g of butter
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  • In a heavy based saucepan melt the butter.
  • Add the onions and celery and cook on a low heat.
  • Stir occasionally and cook for around 10 minutes.
  • Add the potato chunks and season with salt.
  • Cook for about 5minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock.
  • Simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
  • Check with a knife that it slices easily through the potatoes.
  • Add the beans and cook for around 15 minutes.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add the chopped sorrel, stir well and serve.

Over the Moon – Beans

  • Butter Beans – Phaseolus lunatus – are also known as Lima beans  as they originally came from Peru and Lima is the capital city.
  • Phaseolus lunatus – means beans shaped like a crescent moon.
  • The Polish name –  Fasola pȯłksiężycowata  – also means beans shaped like a crescent moon.
  • This is a very old recipe for butter beans.
  • The dried beans would have been soaked overnight before being boiled till soft and then used to make this dish.
  • Nowadays you can use tinned butter beans to quickly make this delicious dish.

The recipe calls for a large amount of butter – do not skimp on this!

Ingredients

  • 2 tins of butter beans, drained
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 125g of butter
  • Large handful of fresh flat leaved parsley – chopped
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Melt the butter gently in a large deep frying pan.
  • Gently fry the onions till soft and golden – do not brown.
  • Add the butter beans and simmer, stirring occasionally till they are soft.
  • Use a potato masher to lightly break up the beans.
  • Add some of the parsley and stir.
  • Serve with the rest of the parsley sprinkled on top.

 

Served in a dish by J&G Meakin – Cadiz – 1964 – 1970

Bean Soup

  • This is a lovely winter soup.
  • It would once have been made with reconstituted dried beans but now it is easy to open tins of beans.
  • Any white beans are good such as Haricot, Cannellini or even Black-eyed beans.
  • This can be made in a stock pot on the cooker or in the oven however I find that using a large slow cooker to cook it makes life a lot easier.

Ingredients

  • 2 tins of white beans such as Haricot, Cannellini or Black-eyed beans.
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 1½ litres of vegetable stock – can be from a cube or powder
  • 150g smoked bacon.
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 3 allspice grains
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram  or 1 tablespoon of fresh
  • Butter to fry the onions.
  • Salt & pepper to season – may not be necessary depending on the bacon and stock.
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley or chives to garnish when serving

Method

  • Chop the onions into small pieces.
  • Gently fry the onions till golden.
  • Chop the carrots into circles and halve or quarter them.
  • Chop the bacon into small pieces.
  • Drain the beans from the cans.
  • Put all the ingredients into a pot.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer – or use a slow cooker.
  • Cook until the carrots are soft.
  • Allow the soup to cool slightly.
  • Remove about half of the beans and carrots with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl.
  • Purée the soup left in the pan – using a stick blender is good.
  • Put the beans and carrots back into the soup and stir.
  • Bring back to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley or chives.

 

Royal Doulton – Tapestry soup plate – 1966 to 1988.

Pepper Soups

These are very tasty soups with a wonderful colour.

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions
  • 4 red/orange/yellow peppers
  • 100g butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed.
  • 1½ litres of chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato purée
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Thinly slice the onions.
  • Cut all the peppers into thin strips.
  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan.
  • Gently cook the onions until they are golden.
  • Add the garlic and peppers and cook for a few minutes longer.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan.
  • Add the chicken stock and tomato purée.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Turn the heat down and simmer gently with a lid on the pan.
  • Simmer till the peppers are very soft.
  • With a slotted spoon remove some of the cooked peppers.
  • Roughly chop/mash these.
  • Purée the rest of the soup.
  • *
  • Put the large chunks of peppers back in.
  • Gently bring back to the boil.
  • Season to taste.
  • *
  • Serve with rye bread croutons.

 

Royal Doulton – Tapestry 1966 – 1988

Peppers & Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • As above and
  • 1-2 tins of white kidney beans drained.

Method

  • Make the soup as above up until the soup has been puréed.
  • Add the beans to the soup.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Lower the heat and simmer for around 5 minutes (can be longer – the beans should be soft.)
  • Put the large chunks of peppers back in.
  • Gently bring back to the boil.
  • Season to taste.

Royal Stafford – Blossom Time – 1950s

Another Pasta Salad

  • When I am cooking some pasta for a meal,  I often do a bit more so I have some left to make a pasta salad the next day.
  • Small shapes are the best or you can chop larger or longer pieces up.
  • Try not to over cook the pasta.
  • Mayonnaise or mayonnaise based dressing  are best with these salads.
  • Cooked vegetables work well with pasta salads and also tinned or bottled vegetables and so this is a good store cupboard dish.

Ingredients

  • 400 – 500g cold cooked pasta.
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained (or frozen loose sweetcorn – cooked)
  • 150g of cooked frozen peas
  • 150g of cooked whole green beans – chopped.
  • 1-2 tablespoons of full fat mayonnaise
  • *
  • Salt & ground back pepper to taste

Method

  • Mix together the pasta and cooked vegetables.
  • Mix in the mayonnaise.
  • Season to taste.

Green Bean Soup

Phaseolus vulgaris is the Common bean or French bean. In Polish it is fasola szparagowa, which  translates as asparagus bean.

This was once just a late summer soup when there were lots of beans ready for cooking.

Nowadays it is one that can be made all year round using frozen whole green beans.

Ingredients

  • 400 – 500g of whole green beans
  • 1½ litres of chicken stock (can be from a cube or concentrate)
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion
  • Leaves from around 6 sprigs of marjoram & extra for serving.
  • 125ml of milk
  • 1½ tablespoons of  cornflour
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • *
  • Rye Bread croutons to serve

Method

  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Fry the onion gently in the butter till golden – do not brown.
  • Chop the beans into small pieces.
  • Put the onions, beans and stock into a large saucepan.
  • Add the marjoram leaves.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Turn down the heat and simmer gently with the lid on until the beans are soft.
  • Mix the cornflour with the milk.
  • Stir this into the soup – increase the heat and continue stirring until the soup is thickened.
  • Add some more marjoram leaves.
  • Adjust the seasonings to taste.
  • Stir in the soured cream and serve.

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Burgundy – 1959 – 1981

Gulasz Soup

This is a soup I often make when I have some gulasz left from a meal, in fact I often make extra so that there is some!

There should be about 3 chunks of meat per serving – though of course that depends on the size of the chunks.

This works well with either beef or pork gulasz.

Ingredients

  • 350g of already cooked gulasz made with beef or pork, peppers and tomato such as in earlier posts.
  • 1 tin of cannellini beans – drained.
  • 750ml of chicken stock – can be from a cube or concentrate.
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder.
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato purée.
  • 125ml of soured cream.
  • Salt & pepper to taste.
  • Flat-leaved parsley or chives to serve & an extra dollop of soured cream if desired.

Method

  • Put the gulasz into a large pan.
  • Add the drainned beans.
  • Mix the tomato purée with the stock and add this to the pan.
  • Add the chilli powder.
  • Bring to the boil, cover and let it simmer for around 15 minutes.
  • Season to taste.
  • Gently stir in the soured cream.
  • Sprinkle on chopped parsley or chives to serve.

Note

Butter beans or haricot beans should be good too.

 

 

Soup plates are Royal Doulton – Burgundy – 1959 to 1981.

Butter Bean Mash

Butter beans are so soft and creamy – this is one of my favourite recipes for them – I often serve this instead of mashed potatoes.

This is one of my storecupboard recipes as I use tinned butter beans to make this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course you can use dried beans, soaking and cooking them in your usual way.

Ingredients

2 tins of butter beans

1 large or 2 small onions

2-3 cloves of garlic

250ml of chicken or vegetable stock (can be from cubes or powder)

Butter for frying the onions.

Salt & pepper

Chopped chives or flat-leaved parsley to serve.

Method

A deep, large frying pan is good for making this.

Chop the onion into small squares and fry gently in butter until they are soft and golden brown.

Chop the garlic and add this to the onions, stirr and heat for a minute.

Drain the beans from the tins and add these to the onions.

Cover with stock and simmer gently until the beans are soft.

Use a potato masher to mash the beans and onions.

Cook for a few minutes longer – cooking away an excess liquid.

 

 

You can put this into an oven proof dish into a low oven at this stage whilst you finish off the rest of the meal.

Garnish with chives or flat-leaved parsley to serve.

Serve instead of potatoes with meats or other cooked vegetable dishes.

 

 

 

Served here with pan fried pork loin and cooked red cabbage on

Royal Doulton – Tapestry – 1966 – 1988