Adzuki Bean Minestrone
"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients." Julia Childs
As is often the case, the other night we had lots of ingredients, including pre-soaked Adzuki beans, but no plan, so this is what we made. It was super easy and quite delicious. Pesto makes everything better! Use this recipe as a guideline. Feel free to ad lib. Of course organic ingredients are always preferred.
2 cups dried Adzuki beans, soaked overnight, then simmered until tender but al dente.
1 bunch carrots with tops: dice the carrots and save the tops for the pesto below
1 large onion peeled and diced
2 ribs celery sliced
5 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced
2 cups of homemade chicken stock
A few fresh oregano sprigs (or a tblsp of dried)
1 cup oven roasted tomatoes in olive oil
(a small can of whole tomatoes rougly chopped is fine too)
2 bunches of chard ( or kale, arugula, spinach...) sliced into ribbons
Warm olive oil in a soup pot. Add carrots, onion, celery and garlic until just softened but the carrots are still a little firm. Add beans and sauté for a few minutes so beans can absorb some of the aromatics of the veggies. Add a splash of red or white wine if you want. Pour in stock and some more wine or water if neccesary to acheive your desired soupiness. Throw in the sprigs of organo and simmer for about 30 minutes or until desired. Just before serving, remove the oregano stems and add the greens. Simmer a few more minutes until the greens are wilted. Serve into bowls, top with pesto and give it a swirl to incoporate slightly. We placed the pesto on the table to add more as desired.
5 cloves of peeled garlic
1/4 cup of parmesan, cubed
Handful of almonds, half handful of walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bunch each of basil and carrot tops
(can be replaced with just about any leafy greens)
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp salt to taste
Start by throwing the garlic, parmesan, and almonds in a cuisinart or blender and pulse until a funky paste is formed, adding half of the oil as you go to create a malleable mass.
Then add the greens and the rest of the olive oil with the juiced lemon and pulse until the greens are mixed in but not completely pulverized. Salt to taste.
Again, pesto makes everything better so use the leftovers on eggs, pasta, rice, etc.