Last year I went on a shopping spree for heirloom beans!
It seemed to be all the rage, popping up in magazines and online. I couldn’t resist buying them.
I bought at least 6 different varieties of heirloom beans and never did anything with them. So much for trying them right?
Just looking at my overflowing pantry, I decided their time has come. I needed to use them up!
I think there are a few reasons it has taken me so long to use them. The first is that I wasn’t as interested in plant-based food as I am now.
Another is that there aren’t very many recipes out there that call for these.
I think part of the reason for the lack of recipes, is that they are supposed to taste good enough to eat on their own. Or at least with minimal additions.
And as good as they may be, I’m just not into eating plain beans.
So, after some digging around, I ended up making bean soup with wine!
Cooking with wine
I cook with wine every now and then, but this is the first time I’ve used it to make beans.
The heirloom beans I used in this soup are called cranberry beans.
These beans turned out to be pretty tasty. They have a unique flavor and the texture is very soft and creamy.
They are definitely a cut above other beans I usually cook with. (e.g. kidney, black, pinto or cannellini beans)
While the beans make this soup unique, I think the real star, is this kale pesto.
You make it with pecorino cheese, lacinato kale, garlic, and pine nuts.
The end product of that mixture stands as a sharp contrast to the rest of the dish.
The soup flavors are rather delicate and this pesto rounds it out quite nicely.
If one of your goals this year is to eat healthier, this could be a good option to consider.
It’s got plenty of beans and vegetables and tastes very clean and hearty.
While it won’t take you to the moon, it might very well fill you up.
One happy spoonful at a time.
In case you missed them, here are some of my other bean recipes!
- New England-Style Baked Yellow Eye Beans
- Santa Maria Style Pinquito Beans
- White Emergo Beans with Mustard, Caramelized Onions, and Herbes de Provence
- Cranberry Beans with Pinot Noir and Kale Pesto
- Kale and White Bean Skillet Bruschetta