there is something so great about digging into a tasty bowl of beans at brunch. not those pathetic “baked beans” they sell in over priced chat cafes, but really tasty, flavour-full, melt-in-your-mouth beans.
this is also a great way to use up some slightly tired looking veggies in the fridge. for me: corn, rocket, chilies and tomatoes.
i have a ridiculous collection of jars filled with dried beans, and i only cook with them once a week. in an endeavour to clear these jars out i soaked some tasty black eyed peas overnight. soaking overnight really does help bring down cooking time! i put the beans in a plastic container, cover with boiling water and leave to sit overnight. you can’t really put too much water in there as these babies soak it up. an equal height of water above the height of the beans is good (ie if there is 2cm of beans in the container, fill with water so there is at least 2cm of water above the beans). make sense?
you could always just use canned beans, but i have a feeling that this is more energy intensive and carbon emitting. does drastically reduce cooking time though.
a note on onions:
please cook your onions thoroughly! be patient and wait until the bits are transparent! these are NOT translucent onions:
- 1 cup black eyed peas (soaked overnight and then rinsed); also great are butter beans and fava beans.
- 1 can tomatoes
- two green chilies (more or less depending on taste)
- 1 brown onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- a handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
- some chopped rocket
- a cob of corn, shucked
- 3 cups veggie stock
- paprika, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to taste
- juice of one lemon (lime is good too!)
- vegetable oil (a spoonful?)
- dice the onion and saute in oil for a couple of minutes.
- finely chop the chilies and garlic. add to the onion and saute the whole lot until the onions are see through. be patient!
- stir the spices into the onion mix (approx 1 teaspoon of each, except cayenne paper. just a little of that.). don’t be afraid of spices*!
- stir in the beans, veggie stock and can of tomatoes. bring the mixture to a boil.
- continue to simmer and add the remaining veggies – corn, cherry tomatoes and rocket. allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes.
- when most of the liquid has evaporated off, taste a bean. is it crunchy? add more water and simmer for longer. does it melt in your mouth? proceed to step 7.
- take off the heat and stir in lemon juice.
- serve in an over-sized soup mug. these are handy devices, as you don’t burnt your little hands on the sides of a hot bowl. genius!
variations / additions:
- you can add any sort of veggies that take your fancy – small bits of potato or kumera would be ace, as would capsicum, and mushrooms.
- a mix of beans can add variety, and variety is the spice of life!
- soy cheese crumbled on top is delectible!
- a side serving of warm bread, particularly corn bread.
- tasty guacamole on top!
* do be wary of adding the correct spices. do these two look the same to you?
they did to me! as a result i got a bit excited with the cayenne pepper (thinking it was paprika) and made the whole thing rather spicy! yeow! hence the breathless-ness…