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On Beans and Pressure November 11, 2008

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, random stuff.

Beans, beans, the musical fruit.
The more you eat, the more you toot.
The more you toot, the better you’ll feel.
So eat your beans at every meal!


Sorry about that. I just couldn’t resist. 😆

It’s looking like it’s going to be a very, erm, farty week around here. And no, I don’t mean Mr. Farty, either. 😦

No, it seems that we have inadvertently ended up with a surplus of bean dishes this week. Which is fine – don’t get me wrong. I like beans. They’re very tasty, and good for you, too. 😀 But they do tend to have, uh, an effect on most people that can be less than pleasant.

Last weekend, while I was cleaning up the mess in the dining room, Peeps was kind enough to put together the soup we had planned for last week. We didn’t really stray much from the Recipezaar recipe for Butternut, Chard & White Bean Soup, other than to, well, make it work for us. 😛

This is a pressure cooker recipe, and he did it as such, and while, on the one hand, it was sort of a pain to bring it up to pressure, lower the pressure to continue the recipe, then lock it back down again, it was fairly quick. The entire soup was done in the space of about an hour, I think. 😯

And to be honest, one of the best things about using a pressure cooker is being able to accomplish that long-cooked flavor – in, literally, just a few minutes. 😆

So anyway, we sweated an onion, a couple of chopped carrots, and 3 ribs (not stalks!) of celery in a splash of oil. Then, along with a sprig of each thyme and rosemary, and here’s the cool part, a pound of dried white beans and a big can of chicken broth, which is equal to 5 cups. Lock down the pressure cooker, bring up to pressure (15 lbs.), and cook for about half an hour.

As soon as you can open the cooker, add a whole butternut squash, peeled and diced, along with 4 cloves of garlic and another teaspoon of fresh chopped rosemary, along with the obligatory “salt and pepper to taste.” At this point, the beans should be, uh, mostly done. Almost soft, but still with a bit of a bite to them. Because let’s face it, you can have the most wonderful bean soup ever, but if the beans aren’t cooked all the way, it’s going to suck. 🙄

Lid ‘er back up, and bring it back up to pressure.

Those poor beans must be feeling like scuba divers by now, huh? 😆 Anyway, he cooked the soup, at pressure, for about another 10 minutes. Now those beans will be done.

PhotobucketAnd here’s the cool part. While the soup was cooking, we cleaned and chopped a bunch of our nifty market rainbow swiss chard.

We stuck the chard in the bottom of a large storage container, then, once the rest of the soup was done, it just got dumped right on top. The hot soup cooked the chard, and, once cooled, the whole mess got covered and shoved in the fridge.

For a week. 😳

We had actually planned to do the soup late last week, but, well, stuff kept coming up. And to be honest, the soup was the easiest meal in our weekly meal plan to put off. So we did.

So finally, we pulled the tub o’ soup out to reheat for dinner. And to be perfectly honest, a simple reheating of soup for a chilly Monday evening is perfect.

Have I mentioned that I hate Mondays?

PhotobucketSo anyway. Here we are, Monday evening, reheating a nice pot of soup to go with some homemade sourdough bread. I did add most of a small can of chicken broth – we needed ½ cup for something over the weekend, so I just added what was left. I don’t know where all the liquid in the soup went – it must have evaporated or something. 🙄

First off, I’ve got to say – I love the way, once the soup was thoroughly heated, most of the squash just sort of dissolved and thickened the soup.

The soup was thick and hearty and well-seasoned. We enjoyed it very much. The recipe said to “serve with a dollop of sour cream,” and, to be honest, we totally forgot all about it. And didn’t even miss it! 😯

I know, right? Even I, Wisconsin Dairy State Girl, didn’t miss the sour cream. What does that tell you? 😕

I would definitely do this soup again, without hesitation. It’s tasty, filling, and it makes a boatload. We barely made a dent in it!

Which is fine – I’ve got no problem with eating this soup for lunch a couple of days this week, and even trying it in the freezer.

Hopefully, we’ll get most of it cleared away before Thursday, when we’ve got a black kale and bean dish planned. 😯

We may have to open a window for the next few days. . . 🙄 😳



1. lolajones - November 12, 2008

Enjoyed reading the above. Shall have to give that soup a go – our only problem here in France is that the butternut is a bit of an alien vegetable. We grew it ourselves in the veg. garden (or ‘potager’ as they are called here), but all finished now. anyways, I’ll use pumpkin if no butternut…

2. Toy Lady - November 12, 2008

Hello, Lolajones, and welcome to our little corner of the internet! 😆

I’m sure any winter squash would be great in this soup – hubbard, acorn, or pumpkin. By the time it’s cooked, then reheated (then reheated again for lunch!) the squash has pretty much dissolved into the background. It’s kind of funny – I often substitute butternut for pumpkin, and here you are, exchanging pumpkin for butternut!

I like the word “potager” for a kitchen garden. It’s so. . . what? Elegant sounding? 😉

Clearly, I need to get out more.

3. Monday Musings - 03.30.2009 Edition « Dark Side of the Fridge - March 30, 2009

[…] and icky, so we’ll be doing a variation of the squash, chard and white bean soup that we did last fall.   I’m really looking forward to […]

4. Squash, Chard & White Beans Redux « Dark Side of the Fridge - April 2, 2009

[…] Food, soupe du semaine. trackback OK, so here’s the thing.  This soup is one we did way back last fall, which I didn’t realize until after I’d taken a boatload of pictures, so. . . here we […]

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