Thursday, April 2, 2009
Two beans beetroot buckweat soup recipe
It has been raining all the week, and today was not an exception. After many weeks of sun and warm temperatures, everybody already said goodbye to the winter and put away their coats. But an unexpected cyclone arrived, and I had to take out of the wardrobe my thick socks again. I couldn't go running during all the week, which is a problem for me because I need it to avoid my bad mood (yes, endorphins are my drug)
Strangely enough, this cold and rainy week I have been doing some experiments with raw food. I have tried different green smoothies and raw broccoli, and I would like to try raw lasagna. Anyway, I think I couldn't go raw: today I only had a green smoothie for breakfast (while usually I have a big bowl of porride, muesli, buckwheat or any other cereal with beans and steamed vegetables) and I have been craving something cooked all the day. I will go on trying green smoothies because they taste good (if you don't put too many greens, of course, as I did once….) but I will wait with the rawfoodism at least until spring or summer, when salads and cold dishes are more appealing. Meanwhile, I will follow cooking comforting stews and soups, like the one I did last week: a beetroot soup with mung beans, kidney beans and buckwheat.
One of the most traditional Russian dishes it's a soup called "borsht". Well, in fact I think it's Ukrainian, but Russian adopted it so many years ago that it became I dish of the national kitchen. Beets, together with potatoes and turnips, have always been a staple of the Russian cuisine. This soup is not borscht, but it's very similar to it (borsht hasn't got beans, and the main ingredients are beets, cabbage and potatoes)
Anyway, It tasted delicious, and I will try to do another version soon, maybe with other beans, tofu or seitan. I think the key is the toasted buckwheat, which gives a subtle and delicious flavor to the soup.
Talking about something not food related, yesterday I finished reading Eclipse. It took me only two days to read it, and I can say I love it =). As I did with New Moon, I borrowed it, because although the books are fantastic they cost more than 15€ and I didn’t want to pay so much money when I knew that I would read them in less than two days (I read New Moon in one day) Tomorrow I will borrow Breaking Dawn from a friend . I can’t wait to read it. Have anymore read it? Why do you think? It’s really a good book or it’s a bestseller just because of all the advertising?
Two beans beetroot buckweat soup
2 medium beetroots
1/2 head red cabbage*
1/4 cup mung beans
1/4 cup kidney beans (half cooked)**
1/4 cup buckwheat
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried garlic
Salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
A couple of laurel leafs
5 cups of water, stock or beans cooking water.
*Use regular cabagge if you don't have red cabagge. I used it just because it looks better because of the bright colour.
**You can also try with black beans or white beans.
1. Soak the beans the night before if you are using dried ones.
1. Prepare the beans. I half cooked the kidney beans, but if you already canned and cooked beans it's also ok, because they are usually not completely done. The mung beans cook faster, so you can cook them straight in the soup. If you cook the beans, save the boiling water.
2. Chop all the vegetables. I think the way you chop them is important, because it can make the difference between a good soup and a wonderful soup. You can julienne the carrots, but I still don't know how exactly I must do it, so I do it my way. I don't remember where I learnt it (but I'm sure that I have seen in some food blog): first you slice them, but instead of doing it in parallel, slice them crosswise, so the slices will be longer. Then, cut the slices lengthways and you will get sticks. You should finish with something similar to this:
3. Chop too the beetroots, the onion, the tomato and the cabbage. You can also grate the beetroot.
4. Put some olive oil in a pot, and sauté 1 minute the onion. Chop or mince the garlic and add it, together with the pepper, dried garlic, the laurel leaves and a little bit of salt (just to soft the onion)
5. After a few minutes, add the carrots and the beetroot. Cook 5 minutes more.
6. Add the water or stock, the beans and simmer it on a very low heat about 20 minutes
7. Toast the buckwheat on a dry saucepan. Add to the pot the buckwheat and the cabbage. Follow cooking for 30 minutes more, or until the beans are done.