Friday, April 22, 2011
Anyone that knows me knows that this post was only a matter of time.
I made a delicious soup for you. The only hitch is you can’t eat it and then go out in public. I’m being deadly serious here because I care about you. You simply cannot eat this soup and then expect to go join the general populous for any sort of indoor activity where they will be able to hear what you’re doing. You could probably eat it and then go to a Nascar race or Air Force Fighter Jet show, because in either of those instances the engine noise and blasting of “Rock You Like a Hurricane” will drown out any noise that you’ll be creating. And you will be making noise. Or at least the gentlemen among us will be, because this is quite simply: fart soup. I should just give the rest of the leftovers to my dad, because that man has never cut an air biscuit he wasn’t damn proud of. He’s very comfortable in his own skin.
Behold the Christmas lima bean: the Black Widow of beans. 100% gorgeous; 100% deadly.
I’m a big bean eater and I’ve often attempted to defend their tarnished reputation as fart fuel; but in this case, Christmas lima beans, you are on your own. These beans could blow the toupee off your high school science teacher. These beans give all other beans a bad name. Not that I know of course, because I’ve never farted in my life. I am a girl. We spend our time in the bathroom spritzing rose dew on our temples and brushing our hair 1,000 times before bed. But I heard from a couple guys, well one guy, okay it was obviously Paul, who claimed this soup turned his back side into a total butt trumpet for approximately 12 hours after consumption. It’s bad. Bad, bad. Like Feel Embarrassed Even If You’re By Yourself Bad; Levitate Out of Your Office Chair But Not In a Transcendent Yogic Way Bad. Like, I’ve Never Actually Considered Buying Beano But This Is Different (I'm So Scared) Bad. That bad. Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife.
And it’s a bummer too (see what I did there?) because it’s truly delicious. I mean really one of the best tasting soups in recent memory. So it’s not as though I would discourage you from making it; actually, I dare you to make it. But know this: I am completely serious when I say it’s not fit for public consumption. If you’re hosting a fart contest to raise money for a charity of your choice, by all means, double the recipe. But if you’re planning on working with other people in an office setting you may want to take a vacation day. Likewise, if you say teach yoga and will be in a soothing, peaceful yoga studio guiding practitioners through sun salutations and forward folds like, um, my friend was the other night, you might want to get a sub. Or be prepared to reach new levels of glutial strength as you tiptoe across the room and turn the music up. I mean like I said, my friend might be exaggerating, but you’ve been warned. With that being said, here’s the soup:
CHRISTMAS LIMA BEAN and VEGGIE SOUP with
WHOLE GRAIN PARMESAN CROUTONS (a/k/a FART SOUP)
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. butter
1 Spanish onion (or other white onion), cut into a small dice
1 summer squash, but into a small dice
1 zucchini, cut into a small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. ground coriander
1 package Christmas Lima Beans* (soaked overnight or quick soaked**)
1 small can whole peeled tomatoes in sauce
Chicken stock (about 2 quarts I think)
Salt and pepper
For the Croutons (optional):
A few slices of whole grain or wheat bread, cut into large cubes
*or, may I (strongly) suggest any other kind of bean. Garbanzos or cannellini beans would stand in well here and decidedly dial down the possibility of alienating yourself from strangers and making any roommate or bed fellow you have consider putting you on the next flight to Siberia.
**TECHNIQUE: How to Quick Soak Dried Beans:
Dried beans will almost always come with instructions to soak the beans overnight. I am completely incapable of planning that far ahead, so I have never actually done this. What I do is a “quick soak” method that I have found works just great for me. Rinse your beans with water and pick them over to make sure there are no foreign objects in ‘em. Then place in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then shut off the heat and let the beans soak for 1 hour. Drain them again, maybe giving another rinse. You can now proceed to either cook the beans on their own, with water, salt, pepper and any herbs or spices you would like, or you can add these soaked beans to your soup and let them cook in the soup until tender. If you choose to cook the beans on their own and keep them around for future use, just put them in a jar or Tupperware and refrigerate until ready to use. I would suggest using them within a week. The Christmas limas took about two hours. So you will have your soup simmering for quite some time to cook them through, but the resulting soup broth is really delicious. I think it’s worth it.
Heat olive oil and butter over medium- medium high heat until the butter is melted. Add onions and sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add summer squash and zucchini and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add garlic and cumin, tossing everything together until fragrant (about 1 minute, if that). Pour in tomatoes and their sauce, using your spoon to break the tomatoes up into large chunks; add the beans and cover the whole thing with chicken stock. I used homemade, so I have no idea what the measurement is, but I think you would be able to simply use one 32 oz. container of store bought stock here. Let the soup come to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until the beans are tender.
While the soup is cooking, make your croutons. Heat the oven to 350 and cut any bread you have on hand into large chunks (I had a whole grain loaf that was pretty much stale. This is the perfect way to use stale bread). Toss the bread cubes on a cookie sheet with a small amount of olive oil, or a few sprays of olive oil spray. Sprinkle with a pinch of garlic salt and maybe some crushed pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring once for even browning. When there are about 3 minutes remaining, remove the cookie sheet and grate parmesan over the top. Return to the oven until the parmesan melts (the extra three minutes should do this). If you’d like, you can finish them in under the broiler as well, in which case it will only take about a minute for the cheese to melt.
When soup is ready spoon into a bowl, top with a couple croutons and another sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. We had this for dinner with some grilled Panini (turkey, prosciutto and mozzarella with a spread of hummus and Sriracha and arugula in the middle). Absolutely delicious, but perfectly dangerous as well. You’ve been warned.