Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Recipe- Pumpkin and Pink Bean Soup and Sweet Potato Fries

"Pumpkin" here isn't what we call pumpkin but it is a very bright orange hard squash that works just as well.  I use it in almost everything (obviously).  Pink beans are these small beans that look like little pintos but are pinkish- almost red but not really.  They are SOOOO good and if we have them at home I can't believe I've never eaten them.  I don't even know what we'd call them- they have an amazing texture- very full, rich and satisfying.  Of course any bean would work just as well.....

Pumpkin and Pink Bean Soup

  • 1 cup dry pink beans, soaked overnight and boiled with one chopped onion, four cloves crushed garlic, and a pinch of whole cumin seeds until soft- throw in a little salt at the very end(takes 30 minutes to an hour and a half- depending on the beans and how long they were soaked)
  • 1 good sized wedge of pumpkin (maybe enough for 4 cups)- chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Chicken, vegetable, or maybe even beef broth (about 6-8 cups)
  • 1 sprig rosemary- de-stemmed and chopped
  • Salt and Pepper

Cover the chopped pumpkin in broth, bring to boil with a generous pinch of salt and reduce to simmer til falling-apart-soft (you can also bake the whole piece (skin on) in a 350 degree oven  on a pan with a little water til it is mushy- scrape off skin and proceed).  Add the rosemary and blend till really smooth (if you don't have a blending device just smash it up before you add more liquid).  Add the beans- try to scoop up the onion and garlic as well.   You can add a bit of bean broth too but the soup will be murky and not orange- not that there's anything wrong with that.  Add hot broth or even water if you've run out of broth (I usually do- I thaw out a yogurt container of broth from the freezer and that is never enough it seems) until it is the consistency you like it. Leave the beans whole and serve with sweet potato fries and a cucumber avocado salad (or anything you dern well want to.  Cornbread and kale would be perfect as well- we just don't have those down here)

Sweet Potato Fries
 These should be called sweet potato bakeds because they sure ain't fried.  I never mess with fries (real or sweet potato) because baked is even better sometimes....

  • Sweet Potatoes (around one medium sized one per person- or more)
  • Coconut Oil (or olive oil or lard if that's what you have) 
  • Cumin, rosemary, paprika, thyme... anything you want (or none at all)
  • Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to anywhere between 350-400 degrees (the lower if you have more time, the higher if you have less and like them crispier)

Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them into strips or chunks.  Throw them on a baking pan- make sure not to crowd or stack them because they will just get really mushy.  Drizzle oil over them, sprinkle salt and any other desired seasoning.  Mix it all together and spread the potatoes out on the pan.  If they aren't all greased up add a little more oil.  But you don't need too much because it will just sit there and pop all over the oven.  You do want them all the be covered though or they will just stick, burn, and/or dry up.  Bake til brown- stir them with a spatula often to keep them evenly cooking- about thirty minutes, depending on the oven temperature.


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