Friday, July 17, 2009

Let there be beans

The snap-beans have arrived in bulk and I am glad. But...I don't know how to can them. I can freeze them but I don't really like frozen beans much. I'd rather eat them fresh while I have the chance, but how many ways can you eat snap beans?

Here's one. Green bean soup. It's every bit as good as the author says it is. I made it with real potatoes, though. Two baking sized potatoes, peeled and diced and simmered in the broth (six cups) and water until they became soft and I could mash them with the potato masher. I just kept going back and mashing until they had "disappeared" to thicken the broth. Potato flakes (as in the recipe) would make this a super quick meal, though.

I'm actually going to copy and paste the recipe here, just in case the other page ever disappears. I don't want to lost this one!

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water or milk
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 quart fresh green beans, snapped into bite size pieces
2 eggs, well beaten
3 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large pot, bring the stock and water to a simmering boil. While waiting for it to heat up, start snapping the beans. Add the potato flakes and pepper. Stir occasionally as the potatoes dissolve to make a thickened soup base. Add the prepared snap beans and continue simmering the soup. Meanwhile, make the dough for the dumplings. Beat the eggs in a bowl with a fork, then stir in the cheese and the flour. You should have a sticky dough that's just solid enough to pull away from the edges of your bowl into a big lump as you stir. If in doubt, add a bit more flour. When the beans are tender-crisp (nearly done), it's time to add the dumplings. Use two spoons to dip up and scrape off lumps of dough into the bubbling soup. The dumplings cook quickly, in just a few minutes. When they bob back up to the surface, they need just another minute or two until they're cooked through.

The hungry-boys both loved it! And snap beans from the grocery would serve just fine, too--except for missing out on watching the purple ones turn green in the hot broth. That's all sorts of scientific fun.


starfitch said...

I tried to post on your last entry about the beans, how cool that you have purple ones! And amen to the abundance, I've already harvested three buckets from my first picking. Wow. I grew up canning many memories. I am freezing mine, because I pretty much only like them drowned in bacon and brown sugar and I found two years ago that slightly defrosted beans provide their own water during the cooking process. Genius!

Dawn said...

I have another friend who grew beans, and she made a bunch of them "dilled", and they were sooooo good!

SaRaH said...

Love it and am so impressed at your gardening skills.

Anonymous said...

that soup sounds great! now, to wait for the beans to start producing...

Alina said...

Hey Serina, thanks for visiting my blog. :) Hope those beans show up soon for you! The soup is so good we're having it for dinner again tonight.

Leah said...

Mmm....beans. I've been getting a lot of fresh veggies from a friend of mine who works for a farm share distribution place thingy. I've been stuffing collards with whipped potatoes and sauerkraut and then steaming them and topping them with a little seasoned apple-cider vinegar (you can put meat and onions in those, too, but most of my friends are vegetarians); braising kale with crushed almonds, garlic, a small diced tomato, and butterbeans (I think using beans instead of kale would be really good with this one); stuffing fresh tomatoes with chick peas, olive oil, sage, and sea salt...and a million other things. I wish I had a bigger garden space to do more!

Anonymous said...

We actually have a garden this year. And there are snap beans! I will have to try this one.