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

White Bean Salads

Having tried out this new honey dressing with a potato salad, I thought I would use it with white beans – the result was super!

Honey Dressing

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of runny honey

1 tablespoons of white wine or cider vinegar

1 tablespoons of made-up mustard

Salt & ground black pepper

Large handful of chopped dill

Method

Mix all the ingredients except the dill in a jug or bowl with a little whisk.

Stir in the dill.

Salad Ingredients – 1

1 tin of butter beans or  Canellinni (white kidney) beans – drained

1 onion – finely chopped

1 eating apple – pink skinned eg Pink lady,  rough chopped including the skin

Handfull of chopped dill to serve.

 

 

 

Mix all the salad ingredients together,except for the dill, in a bowl.

Pour the dressing over the salad.

Mix the salad with the dressing.

The salad is best made several hours before serving to let the dressing infuse into the beans.  I often leave it overnight.

Add the extra dill just before serving.

Salad Ingredients – 2

1 tin of butter beans or  Canellinni (white kidney) beans

1 red onion – finely chopped.

1 red pepper – cut into strips and then across – to give rough squares.

Handfull of chopped dill to serve.

 

 

 

Mix all the salad ingredients together, except for the dill,  in a bowl.

Pour the dressing over the salad.

Mix the salad with the dressing.

The salad is best made several hours before serving to let the dressing infuse into the beans.  I often leave it overnight.

Add the extra dill just before serving.

Note

I have found that some tinned butter beans are better than others  – you can improve the absorption of the dressing by:

  • either tipping the beans into a saucepan,  adding some water and heating them up for several minutes, then leaving them to go cold.
  • or  pricking through the skins with a cocktail stick or similar.

Polish Beans – American Style

I believe this recipe is very popular in America and I think it is a sort of second generation recipe which is made up from memories of  dishes from Poland and some adaptations using local ingredients.

I feel this is a blend of two previous bean recipes Beans – po Staropolsku (in an old Polish style) which has a lot of sweetness using prunes and honey and Breton beans with tomato sauce.   Here the sweetness is from maple syrup (I still had some from my friend who now lives in Canada – so thought of her as when making this).

Ingredients

Note – these quantities do not have to be exact.

200 -300g kielbasa – Polish sausage

200 – 300g smoked bacon

400 – 500g minced beef

2 small onions

4 large tins of different beans (butter beans, canellini, haricot, red kidney etc) – some recipes say that using some butter beans is a must!

3 tablespoons of tomato puree

1 tablespoon of made-up mustard

1 tablespoon of wine or cider vinegar

250ml maple syrup

Ground black pepper

Sunflower oil for frying

Method

Pre-heat the oven to GM3 160°C

Drain the beans and place then into an ovenproof dish with a lid.

Chop the onions into small pieces and fry them up in a little oil.

Chop the bacon into small pieces and add these to the onions and fry them together.

Slice and chop the sausage and add this to the onions and bacon.

Add the minced meat  to the mixture and fry this up for a few minutes.

Add this mixture to the beans in the dish.

Mix in the tomato puree, mustard, vinegar, maple syrup and black pepper.

Put the lid on the dish.

Cook for around 3 hours in the oven until the beans are soft.

 

Note

This is suitable for making in a slow cooker.

This can be eaten as a dish on its own or served with bread.

 

 

French Connections

Fasolka po bretonsku

This is Beans in a Breton style and is a very popular dish in Poland.

It is a dish of beans cooked with Polish sausage and smoked bacon in a tomato sauce.

When Lidl, the supermarket,  has a Polish Week they often have jars of this for sale.

I have done some research and can find lots of Polish recipes for this but not a single French or Breton recipe which is similar. So I cannot tell you why this typical Polish dish is associated with Brittany or France.

French Connections

There are however many, many connections with Poland and France – here are just a few:

  • Prince Henri de Valois (1551 – 1589) was elected King of Poland and reigned from 1573 to 1575. He resigned to become Henri III of France.
  • King Władysław IV Waza (1595 – 1648) – married the French Princess  Louse Marie Gonzaga
  • King Jan II Kazimierz Waza (1609 –1672) married Louse Marie Gonzaga when she became the widow of the King  Władysław IV Waza.
  • King Jan III Sobieski (1629 –1695) – married Marie Casimire Louise de la Grange d’Arquien.
  • Stanisław Leszczński (1677-1766) was King of Poland and then became the Duke of Lorraine.
  • His daughter Maria Leszczyńska (1703-1768) became the Queen consort of Louis XV(1710– 1774) of France and was the Grandmother of Louis XVI (1754–1793).
  • Poland was an Ally of Napoleon (1769 – 1821) especially in the war against the Russians.

Many Poles went to live and work in France including:

  • Adam Mickiewicz (1798 – 1855) – poet
  • Fryderyk Chopin (1810 – 1849) – composer
  • Cyprian Norwid (1821 – 1883) – poet
  • Maria Skłodowska Curie (1867 – 1934) – scientist
  • André Citroën (1878-1935) – entrepreneur
  • Aleksander (Alexandre) Tansman (1897 – 1986) – composer
  • Tadeusz Baird (1928 – 1981) – composer

Ingredients

Note – these quantities do not have to be exact.

  • 2 cans of beans (approx 420g each) (haricot, canellini  or barlotti)
  • 200g smoked bacon
  • 200g Polish sausage, (I used Toruńska and Śląska)
  • 2 onions
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 500ml of hot water
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian herbs or marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika (can use hot paprika)
  • 4 grains of allspice
  • 2 – 3 bay leaves

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 3 – 160°C.
  • Cut the bacon into small squares and fry them up.
  • Cut the onions into small pieces and fry these up.
  • Drain the beans and place them into an oven proof dish (one that has a lid).
  • Add the fried bacon and onions and mix together.

Slice the sausage and add this to the bean mixture.

Mix the tomato puree with the hot water and add the Italian herbs and paprika.

  • Pour this over the bean mixture and add the allspice and bay leaves and mix thoroughly.
  • Cook in the oven for several hours until the beans are soft.
  • This can be eaten as a dish on its own or served with bread.

Note

This is suitable for making in a slow cooker.