Saturday, January 8, 2011


Sometimes, I see a recipe and I simply cannot wait to make it. It doesn't even go into my list of recipes to try, and instead, the ingredients go straight onto my shopping list. When I saw the recipe for this noodle and bean soup, that's exactly what happened. It was my first day back in Davis and as I sat watching my fence steam outside, I knew that this dish was exactly what I needed to feel right at home. Plus, who can resist the beautiful sight of beans soaking on the counter all day?

Bean and Noodle Soup
Vaguely adapted from 101 Cookbooks

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 jalapeños, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground pepper to taste
8 cups vegetable broth
2 cups dried bean mix of your choice
1 can cooked garbanzo beans, rinsed
½ pound angel hair or some other thin pasta (I used whole wheat)
3 oz fresh spinach leaves, finely shredded
¼ cup finely shredded cilantro leaves
Juice of one lime (I had to use a lemon, but a lime would be much better!)
For the Toppings:
Very thinly sliced onion
Crème fraiche
Chopped cilantro
Thinly sliced jalapeño
Lime wedges

Optional: soak the dried beans over night or even for just a few hours before.
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and the pepper and cook until they soften. Add the spices and then stir in the broth. Bring to a boil and add the dry beans. Cook until they are just tender, around 1 hour. Stir in the cooked beans garbanzo beans. Add salt to taste and let cook until the beans are heated throughout. Add the noodles at the end to the simmering pot soup and cook until al dente. Stir in the spinach and cilantro. Add a squeeze of lime/lemon.
Serve topped with the thinly sliced onions, crème fraiche, jalapenos and cilantro.

I was right. This was a perfect first meal back at home, all cozy in my warm house before venturing out to bike to work.