Saturday, November 10, 2007

Butterbean-Root Bisque with Jalapeno-Cranberry Chutney and Crisy Fried Onions

I've been wanting to make this soup for a while and finally had a night where I was cooking for myself and could make it. For some reason, Mike and the kids don't like most soups, so I usually make them just for me (usually to bring for lunches).

This soup includes two ingredients that remind me of my mom: butterbeans and rutabagas. My mom will eat butterbeans heated up, just straight out of a can she loves them so much. We've even been known to eat straight up butterbeans for breakfast! I know that some people say lima beans and butterbeans are the same thing...but I think differently. However, because I can't find butterbeans without crazy preservatives added, I have used lima beans in this recipe. It really does taste just as good as I imagine butterbeans would.

And despite both my mom and I loving rutabagas just as much, we've always eaten them only at Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner. Our usual rutabaga recipe is one of the few family traditional dishes that is easily veganized by an omni family living in Texas shopping at a Wal-Mart. No tofu or nutritional yeast needed. Just rutabagas, salt, pepper, and maybe some margarine. Yum!

You really have to try this soup! Even if it doesn't remind you of my mom, I think you'll like it.

Butterbean-Root Bisque

1 cup dry butterbeans or lima beans
6 cups water
1.5 cups chopped rutabaga, peeled
1 cup chopped parsnip, peeled
4 cloves roasted garlic
1 no salt added vegan vegetable bouillon cube
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme

Simmer the beans in the water until they are tender, about 45 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes (everything should be really soft). Puree with your immersion blender until perfectly smooth. If too thin, simmer longer until it's thick enough for you.

*This soup looks plain, but has a rich, subtle flavor. You really should garnish it. Here's what I used and I would definitely make this one again:

JalapeƱo-Cranberry Chutney
1/2 cup chopped cranberries
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 small pickled jalapeno, minced (pickled jalapeƱos are so good!!!)
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp sugar

Simmer until cranberries are tender. Mash them up with a fork or use a little food processor if you want a syrup to drizzle on the soup. This is good beyond belief.

The Crispy Fried onions are premade ones I found at the co-op today. (Lars Own imported Crispy onions) I would never have considered them, except that I was so shocked they didn't have hydrogenated oils or any I bought them. I'm so glad I did, because they added a great dimension to this soup. The sweet/spicyness of the chutney with the crisp saltiness of the onions was a perfect compliment to the earthy, creamy soup.

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