Thursday, January 15, 2009

Butter Bean Soup with Portabellas and Wild Rice

                                       from the FatFree Vegan

There exists in the food-world an unspoken Soup Code, and #1 on the Soup Code is this:

Soup should not be stabby.

Which means, if there were a don of the soup world, he surely would've put a hit out on this soup. This soup would be lying in its bed right now, four bullet-holes to the head, surrounded by a bunch of coppers covering up their noses 'cause of the horrible horrible stench as they whisper under their breath that they think the killing might be linked to the Soup Mafia.

If you're not catching on: This soup is stabby.

And yet: it's also fantastically tasty. So don't let my talk of stabbiness dissuade you.

Honestly, I think I may, in fact, be responsible for the stabbiness: 1) I didn't crush the rosemary (which was Stabbiness Part

1)--I'm not really sure how one goes about doing that, seeing as MY ROSEMARY DOESN'T SEEM TO ACTUALLY CRUSH and if I try to dice it up tinier with a knife, it just pings and shoots all over my kitchen. So any suggestions would be appreciated.

2) I don't know that I cooked the wild rice to its ultimate tenderiest (Stabbiness Part 2). Then again, wild rice is like the barbed wire of the rice world, so maybe I'm not to blame with this one.

Nonetheless: essentially, eating this soup kind of reminded me of my favorite Chuck Palahniuk book and how everyone loves Rant's mom's cooking because she bakes/cooks stabby things into her food (like pushpins or pieces of foil) which makes them all eat her food slower (so as not to accidentally bite into something injurious) and actually appreciate and savor it more.

Which actually kind of was the case with this. I'm not particularly partial to non-tomato-based soups, but this was actually really really tasty. It's hearty and yet kind of delicately flavored. It's savory. And it's a perfect warm-me up.

Just be careful you don't poke out an eye.

  • 2 medium onions, diced

  • 2 ribs celery, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 6 c. water (I also added a bouillon cube)

  • 1 lb. speckled butter beans or Fordhook lima beans, fresh or frozen

  • 6 oz. baby portobello mushrooms, sliced

  • 1/4 c. wild rice*

  • 1 t. thyme

  • 1 t. dried rosemary, crushed, or 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary

  • 1/2 t. sage

  • Salt (to taste)

  • 1/4 t. black pepper

  • 1 t. soy sauce

  • * If you don't have wild rice, pearled barley or another grain can be used instead; just be sure to pick one that cooks in less than an hour.


Heat a large non-stick pot. Add the onions, and saute until they begin to brown, about 6 minutes. (Add a tablespoon or two of water to prevent sticking, if necessary.) Add the celery and garlic, and cook for another two minutes.

Add the water and butter beans and bring to a boil. Add all remaining ingredients, bring back to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the beans and wild rice are both done, 45-55 minutes. If necessary, thin soup with water as it is cooking, according to taste. Just before serving, about 1/2 cup of the beans may be mashed or blended to make the broth thicker.

(Recipe from The FatFree Vegan)

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