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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Nutrish & Delish: Mixed Green Bean Soup -- Lovely For Spring!

It's spring -- yay!  It's lovely to have a bit of rain -- it just makes everything feel fresh and lush. But while looking outdoors, one can feel uninspired to cook anything light and healthy. People seem to want to bake (and EAT -- with a nice cup of tea or coffee) cakes, cookies, and brownies. Well, guess what -- I want to get into a bikini this summer!! Ok, I probably won't really buy and wear one -- modest 'Milly' that I am -- but I would like to be ABLE to pull it off, should I go through some post mid-life crisis or if someone is insane enough to dare me to. Sooooo, when it's rainy like this AND, actually, still chilly -- if not downright damp, here's something to put together that is warming, tasty, super-healthy, but still very much bursting with spring flavours and goodness.  Hopefully, a cup or bowl or two of this will help you get through the rainy days and keep you from gobbling down the fattening, sugary sinker fare that you will regret eating.

Mixed Green Bean Soup

2 medium onions, diced into chunks
1 garlic clove, minced
2 celery stalks, diced into chunks
2 leeks, diced into chunks
1 large or 2 medium winter carrots, diced into chunks
3-4 cups mixed green peas and beans (I used Waitrose frozen green pea&bean mix) -- green peas, lima beans, garden beans, etc.)
1-2 cups soybeans or edamame (I used shelled, frozen from Waitrose)

1 T olive oil
1 liter fresh stock -- from chicken, beef, fish, or vegetarian -- whatever you prefer

fresh thyme, to taste (about 2 T is nice)
1 bay leaf
oregano (1 T dried is nice)
salt and pepper, to taste (1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper should be enough)

Lightly sautee onions, leeks, celery, and garlic together until just soft. Add stock. Add carrots and beans and bring to the boil. Let boil SOFTLY for about 10 minutes (this releases the 'gas' from the legume-type beans) and then lower to simmer for another 30-40 minutes. All will meld together beautifully while still giving the beans some bite.

You can serve with fresh grated Parmesean cheese on top and some crusty bread.

I can't have the bread -- maybe someday!!


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