Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kidney-Portuguese Soup

Alright, some of you have seen my posts about beans and may be thinking, "I just don't like beans."  Consider onions, peppers, asparagus, Brussels sprouts.  Did you always like those?  Now, those of you who still eat nothing but white bread and macaroni and cheese, well I know you won't be converted.  But we know that food-appreciation is learned. 

Learning takes practice.  If we know and respect that asparagus is good for us, we'll keep trying.  We begin to discover the nuances of it's nuttiness and fresh spring flavor.  Next thing you know, you're a fan.  Now consider taking this approach with beans.  You know they're good for you.  You want your kids to grow up appreciating them.  This is a good recipe from which to begin your palate-coaching.

The following is one of the first recipes I made with beans.  I didn't always promote them.  I used to, well, reject them.  But, you'll read in my earlier posts that legume economics won me over early in my career as a SAHM.  This recipe comes from the MN Health Dept, 1985, titled "If You Don't Know Beans About Beans."  Don't you love that title?  This one is a meal in a bowl; hearty, filling, and so flavorful. 

kidney beans

 1 cup dry kidney beans
6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
salt & pepper
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 bay leaves
1 Tbsp allspice
1-6oz. can tomato paste

Follow usual directions for cooking the beans but do not drain.  Add the potatoes and a little salt.  Be sure they're covered.  Cook 15 min.  Meanwhile, saute the onions and garlic in oil.  Add to the soup.  Add the bay leaves, allspice, and salt & pepper.  Slowly simmer for 3hrs, adding more water if necessary.  Serves 6-8

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As long as I'm on this journey, rambling through life's exhilarating highs and trudging heavily amongst it's incapacitating lows, I might as well share whatever may be gleaned from my little bits of wisdom and my many missteps. No room for judgment from this broken mama. I'm writing from my heart: raw, open, messy, but saved. And I'm still thanking God!