Friday, November 23, 2007

23.11.07: Red Miso Beany Veg

It's properly cold now and people appreciate a soup that really warms them up, so I thought I'd do something with miso, using red kidney beans to thicken the soup base rather than the pearl barley I used in the miso vegetable soup on Day 13 and more beans to bulk out the soup, instead of root veggies.

Over night, I soaked 500g of red kidney beans and, separately, a 500g packet of Tesco exotic bean mix: dried black eyed beans, alubia beans, Dutch brown beans, baby Lima beans, butter beans and haricot beans. This morning, I went to buy vegetables in Somerfield and ended up with two swedes and a couple of plastic pillows of curly kale that were offered at a reduced price.

I boiled the two lots of beans in separate pans for an hour. I diced carrot, onion, and celery, minced half a head of garlic, and began to slowly cook the mixed vegetables in a splash of oil in the bottom of the soup pot. I peeled and diced the swedes and stir-fried the dice in a wok until it was thoroughly cooked, setting it aside. The kale was finely shredded and the stalks discarded.

When the beans were soft, having been simmered for an hour, I added the red kidney beans to the cooked mirepoix in the soup pot and covered it with two litres of Marigold bouillon and added another litre of boiling water with a 240g tub of Organic Mellow Field Bean Barley Miso dissolved in it before blending. One of my customers tells me that's all wrong and the miso should only be added at the last mo. so that its goodness isn't too compromised by cooking. But I wanted a strong, almost meaty flavour in the soup base..

Having thoroughly blended the red kidney beans and mirepoix with the miso and bouillon, I then assembled the soup by adding the cooked exotic bean mix, the stir-fried diced swede and the shredded kale with another two litres of bouillon (making five litres of liquid in all).

This was a popular soup - 'hot, healthy and ready to go', said someone in the log bok - and it was all gone before 3pm. A party of school girls doing a workshop and looking for somewhere to eat their lunch came in and six of them had soup; Jonathan, from the Buddhist Centre, must've had three bowls;-)

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