Sunday, February 1, 2009

Minestrone di fagioli

Minestrone di Fagioli

Beans, beans the magical fruit...

A vegan's best friend is the magical bean. From the bean we get much needed nutrition, including a way to combine with grains to make a complete protein. I personally couldn't live without my pressure cooker. I cook all my broths, beans, soups, rice, and grains with the pressure cooker. It is a money and time saver because in about 2 hours, dry beans can be made into a delicious and simple meal. The following recipe is for a pressure cooker, but you could easily substitute canned beans if you don't have a pressure cooker, or use a slow cooker after you have fried the onions in the olive oil.


1 cup of dried OR two cans Borlotti beans

1 cup of a small soup pasta, I use Ditalini Rigati Grandi

1 small yellow onion sliced lengthwise

2 dried Calabrian red peppers

1 tbsp of double concentrate

1/2 cup olive oil

splash of white wine

1-8 cups of water (depends on use of dry beans)
Salt to taste (will need at least 1/2 tbsp if using dry beans)
In this recipe I will refer to use of pressure cooker, but if you are not using one, then use a medium sized pot, canned beans, and only 2 cups of water.

In pressure cooker pot, put olive oil, splash of wine, onion, and red peppers on medium heat until onions become translucent. Remove onions and peppers when onions become translucent. Add concentrated tomato paste and one cup of water and stir. Stir in the beans and let simmer on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Then add 5 cups of cold water, salt, and the seal the pressure cooker. I usually will simmer on high heat until pressure builds one time, and then I put the pot on the smallest burner and simmer on low heat for 2 hours, but you should follow the directions of your pressure cooker as every brand is different.

After 2 hours, I open the pot and make sure the beans are very soft, and taste the soup if the salt is adequate, if not, I salt to taste. Stir soup lightly on medium heat, and mash mixture with a masher, and stir again. Add 2 more cups of water and bring to a boil. When soup comes to a boil, add small pasta. Stir while the pasta cooks until al dente. When the pasta is ready, the soup is ready. This makes enough for 4 servings.