Navy Bean Soup -Outstanding!

THE MEMORABLE BEAN!
BEANS are the most undervalued food item. Although the bean is a complex carb. like bread and starches, it feels right at home in the veggie group and holds its own in the protein group. The miraculous bean has little or no fat and is cholesterol-free. In fact the bean actually lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your body.  Garlic, rosemary and thyme gives this soup that unmistakable ~unforgettable ~  flavour!

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Café de La Paix, Toronto,ON

The first time I had navy bean soup was at the Colonnade on Bloor Street in Toronto. I was a teenager and I took the subway to the Cumberland Street stop and headed off to the Colonnade. After window shopping and buying a retro 20’s hat with a matching long silk scarf that morning, it was time for lunch at my oasis. I was relieved to get off my feet and settled in to enjoy my bean soup. Good times. The hat shop is gone along with the quaint cafe. But, the memories remain.  I am sharing with you my most favorite, unforgettable memories of a  sumptuous soup. Today, we celebrate the glorious bean!

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NAVY BEAN SOUP Outstanding

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. Navy beans, dry
  • 1 Onion, Large
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 5 Stalks Celery
  • 5 Carrots
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil (or Avocado oil)
  • 5 cups home-made chicken stock* (or vegetable stock)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp Rosemary, dried ~ or ~
    (1 Rosemary sprig ( 6-7 inches ), large fresh sprig)
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme, dried or 1 tsp fresh Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper (fresh ground)
  • 1½ Tsp Fresh Ground Salt (Kosher or sea salt)

Meat Lovers
Optional – add  diced bacon or cooked sausage rounds during or after the cooking process for that meaty flavour.

Organic Rosemary, Garlic and Thyme

* the ratio of stock and water needs to add up to 7 cups. If you don’t have enough stock add more water. Your stock may be very concentrated and rich and you may need to adjust the ratio. Use your good judgement.
Substitution: If you don’t want to use carrots and celery replace them with 4 cups of sliced yellow onions about 3 more onions. It now becomes a Tuscany navy bean soup.
Not enough carrots? If you only have 2 carrots in the frig. add one onion in place of the 3 additional required carrots. The same applies to the celery.navy_beans

Soaking Navy Beans. The water collects carbohydrates from the beans.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Soak the navy beans for  3 hours. Change the water frequently ~ discards the carbohydrates in the ‘soaking’ water. Carbs make your beans become the “magical fruit”.)
  2. Mince the garlic, dice the onion(s), chop the celery, pepper and carrots.
  3. Sauté the onions, celery, and carrots in olive oil in the pot (dutch oven). After the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes), add the garlic and red pepper and sauté another minute or two.
  4. Add the rinsed navy beans, stock, water, smoked paprika, bay leaf, fresh ground pepper and herbs to the pot.
  5. Bring to a boil (boil for 10 minutes while stirring) then turn down to simmer. Total cooking time 90 minutes.
  6. Taste test to check if the beans are thoroughly cooked. Add salt. Taste again to see if you need more salt. We left the salt to the end because salt makes the beans hard.

Serves 6-8 (good for storing in glass jars & freezing)

ALTERNATE METHODS OF COOKING
For the following two methods, saute the vegetables in a fry pan with olive oil first before adding to the crock pot or pressure cooker.
bean-soup-2SLOW COOKER METHOD: Combine all of the above ingredients into the slow cooker and stir. Set to cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8 hours.
PRESSURE COOKER: Beans are a perfect match for pressure cooking. Place pressure regulator on vent pipe and cook 30 minutes at 15 pounds pressure.  Use instructions included with your p.c. model. One of my sisters is always using a pressure cooker. (She uses 2 at a time) With her engineer-like mind – it’s a given. Less work and a most efficient method. Freezer friendly for another day!  Their freezer is full of goodies (and don’t last long in the freezer either). Don’t freeze in plastic or freezer bags–use glass jars– and leave a gap of one inch at the top so the jars wont crack.
I have my mason jars ready for this one to enjoy again and again. Make it once serve it thrice ( 3 times ) is my motto!!!  Give a jar to a friend adds happiness to their day.  We are giving a whole new meaning to jar heads!  ◔‿◔  ( aha!)
HAT2FOOD TIP: Common mistakes are boiling or simmering the soup too long or too high. While simmering you should not see any bubbling at all. If you can not obtain a very low simmer then add 1/2 to 1 additional cup of water/stock.  You may want to turn off the heat for 2 minutes after the 10 minutes of boil time. Gas stoves are a favorite with chefs because the heat goes right down quickly when you reduce the flames. The best choice is a pressure cooker. If you have never used one I recommend it. It seals all the moisture inside the P.C.

The Magical Fruit!

The Magical Fruit!

THE HEALTH SMART BEAN
(1) Heart healthy  💖
(2) Nutrients: antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals
(3) Economy: Beans may be the least expensive source of protein
(4) SLOW to digest: keeps you feeling full longer and aids in weight loss
(5) FIBER: 5 to 8 grams of fiber in 3 ounces (100 grams)…prevents constipation.
(6) Reduce cancer risk: 3 cups of beans per week.
(7) Blood sugar balance: Beans digest slowly which helps keep the blood sugar balanced. At the same time reduces fatigue and irritability.
(8) PROTEIN: About 1/2 cup of beans provides 7 grams of protein. The same amount of protein as in 1 ounce of chicken, meat or fish.
BONUS: Beans are inexpensive. Stock up!

BEAN TIPS beans-reduce-gas

superfoodTHE NEW SUPER FOOD
Beans are  on the list of super foods. It does not get a lot of air time. More people are discovering that the lowly, often neglected bean is not only low in cost, it is high in health benefits. Protein:  1 oz chicken=1/2 cup beans.
didyouknow2DID YOU KNOW? Garbanzo beans (chick peas) are the highest in protein of all the beans. It contains Potassium, K and very high in folate. And — is over the scale in energy! —

navyHOW DID NAVY BEANS GET THEIR NAME?
With a long shelf life, navy beans became a staple on U.S. Navy vessels beginning in the mid-1800s; earning them their name that has survived the test of time. The navy bean is the same type of bean you find in tins of baked beans.

EAT BEANS THREE TIMES A WEEK FOR YOUR HEALTH!

Manhattan ‘Mock’ Clam Chowder -20 Minutes!

In 1934,  A Maine legislator introduced a bill that outlawed the use of tomatoes in any clam chowder recipe!  Today, both New England and Manhattan chowders are loved. But, there is still a healthy competition between the two.shanty  This is a mock clam chowder in that the mussels are 2 to 1 with clams. They are both in the same family tree.  ( Clams are more expensive than mussels ).  Nutrient rich seafood.

Do you suffer from a fear of cooking shellfish?

Please, please get over it and you’ll save a huge amount of money by making clams and mussels at home instead of at a restaurant!

It’s so easy to make and  s-o-o-o-o-o delicious. Some Kids gobble them up! I must confess I found this version of the  mock Manhattan Clam chowder with mussels 

musselsandclams

Clams Are Small, Round and Light Colored.  Mussels are Darker and Long Shaped

in a sweet little Shanty pub on the shores of  New York, USA. The owner shared his secret with me. Now, I am passing it on to you. ( S-H-H-H-H )  A recipe that is nowhere to be found on the planet except at the Shanty (now gone) I have never shared this recipe with anyone before.  I hope you will enjoy it!
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INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
8 oz. slices mushrooms
1/2  of a 750 ml bottle of white wine
1 28 oz can of plum tomatoes
1 8oz. bottle clam juice
1  5 oz. can baby clams
2 lbs. mussels
5 leaves fresh basil
1/4  tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (to taste) or 1 tiny red pepper 🌶️
1 tablespoon chopped flat leafed parsley
3 mild Italian sausages (optional – instead use 1/4 to 1/2  tsp of fresh ground fennel or anise)
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INSTRUCTIONS
1. Heat oil in heavy soup pot or cast iron pot.
2. Slice onions and add to pan.  Heat until translucent.
3. Slice and add garlic and hot pepper.  Saute for a few minutes.
4. Add mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes.
5. Remove sausages from casings and fry them breaking up with a wooden spoon.  Fry about 5 minutes. If you skip the sausages – add a dash of ground fennel or anise. The way they do at the restaurants. (You will know where that great flavour comes from)
6. Add wine and cook for 20 minutes.
7. Add the can of plum tomatoes roughly breaking up the tomatoes with your hands or a spoon.
Add the bottled clam juice and canned clams (or fresh de-bearded clams) .  Bring to a boil.  Add the basil leaves along with the chopped parsley.
8.  Add the mussels which have been rinsed,  and the opened ones discarded.   Cover and cook for 3 minutes  until all the mussels have opened.
9. If any of the mussels will not open discard them.

Cook for 3 minutes - until the mussels open

Cook for 3 minutes – until  all the  mussels open

Serve

Serve “Mussel Soup Supreme” with garlic bread.

HAT2FOOD TIP:  When your raw mussels are open, tap them on a hard counter.  If they do not close then discard them as they are dead and can make you sick.  If they close then they are fine to cook and enjoy. Check your clams for a beard. Simply pull them out and discard any broken clams.  The Italian sausage gives a pleasant mild fennel flavour to the soup.  If you don’t add  sausage then add a dash of fennel, if you have it around. The spices are up to you, if you want to experiment. A bit of oregano might be nice.

mussels_soup_basilVARIATIONS  You can add lobster, shrimps, scallops or any other seafood you have on hand to make this into a seafood soup.  If you are adding raw lobster to the soup then add that first as it takes longer to cook.  It will turn pink and then add any shrimp or scallops last since they require only a few minutes of cooking or they will become tough and rubbery.  If you add canned lobster include the liquid from the can for more flavour.  You can add almost any fish except salmon. It has too much of a strong flavour for this dish. Sherry can also be added while you are cooking these last bits of seafood. Sherry complements the flavour of the seafood.. . .
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SEAFOOD SENSATION!
For decades the Portuguese classically make dishes which combine mussels and clams in their beautiful copper cataplanas. This seafood extravaganza is absolutely delicious!

Mussels and Pork

Mussels And Clams In A “BIG” Clam Shell

didyouknowNUTRIENT-RICH
Mussels and clams are a rich source of many essential vitamins and minerals, such as the B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, iron, phosphorus, manganese, selenium and zinc. They outshine most other foods when it comes to their vitamin B-12, selenium and manganese content. A 3 ounce portion of moist-heat cooked blue mussels provides 20.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12, meeting 340 percent of the recommended daily value for this nutrient, according to NutrientFacts.com. Vitamin B-12 is essential for a healthy nervous system, the formation of red blood cells and proper growth and development. The same amount meets 108 percent of the DV for selenium and 288 percent for manganese. Selenium is important for immune system function and supports the thyroid gland, while manganese is involved in bone health and energy metabolism.  Mussels are rich in sodium as well which is why this soup did not need any salt added.