YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Some Moro Bean Soup, please!

Okay, the holidays are over. It’s January. It’s snowing. It will be this way for a while. To quote Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets, after she has just closed the door on Jack Nicholson’s inappropriate visit, “Okay, back to life.” Here’s a recipe that may help with that.

This recipe can work with any dark, red beans but, just so you know, I am crazy about the beans from Rancho Gordo in Napa. I like to add a small amount of garbanzo beans and green lentils to the recipe for added flavor and interest. Even just this small amount of garbanzos is guaranteed to put a few into every bowl.

1/2 cup Moro beans
1/4 cup green lentils
1/8 cup garbanzo beans
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3/4 tsp. hot paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 large onion, peeled and sliced thinly
6 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
3 celery stalks, rinsed and chopped very thinly
3 medium potatoes, washed and diced (don’t peel)
2 jalapeños, deseeded and sliced thinly on cross-section
6 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and quartered
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, rinsed and chopped
28-oz. (large) can crushed tomatoes
2Tbsp. olive oil 

Pour the olive oil, celery, carrots and onions into a 4-quart crockpot, and set on high. Prepare the jalapeños and mushrooms and add to crockpot. Add the tomatoes and spices.

Add the Moro beans, garbanzos and lentils. Fill the crockpot with water 2/3 of the way up. Allow to cook on high for 1-2 hours, and then reduce heat to low and leave to cook 6-8 hours. Serves 6 with plenty of leftovers.

Sprinkle some cilantro into each bowl prior to serving. Buen provecho!

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