This minestrone is a more wintery version of the popular soup with pumpkin and mushrooms However, I suspect minestrone soup can have as many variations as the combinations of vegetables and meats that can be found in a refrigerator. It’s a soup that reminds me …
When preparing beans I usually soak and sprout twice the amount needed for my recipe. Leftover pulses are stored in the freezer for immediate use in another recipe.
What does “sprouting” mean?
First, I wash the pulses well. Then, I soak them in plenty of water, preferably with a little yogurt or kefir serum for 12-24 hours, depending on their type.
The next day, I spread them out in a colander, where I rinse them thoroughly and let them drain. To keep the sink area clear, I rest the colander on a shallow baking tray of the same size. The pan should be shallow enough for the air to circulate freely.
I leave them to sprout for 1-3 days, just covered with a muslin. I make sure to “water” them by rinsing them every 6 hours. I also mix them well, to redistribute them in the colander, as there is more moisture towards the bottom compared to the top.
Once they’ve sprouted, I rinse them well before cooking or storing them in the freezer. On really hot days, I soak & sprout in the fridge.
Why do I put myself (and my beans) through this process?
Mainly because legumes contain nutritional inhibitors that hinder the absorption of nutrients. By soaking, sprouting and cooking or serving with small amounts of meat or fish, you can enrich the meals of young children. They usually eat very small amounts, so every spoonful should be packed with nutrients.
According to the Ministry of Development:
You can find more information in this brochure of the World Food and Agriculture Organization:
Let’s rewarded ourselves for our patience with “Fasolatha” a traditional white bean soup with “apaki” Cretan cured pork.
- 0,5 kg white small beans
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 leeks, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper in 3-4 large pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 1.5 liters broth
- 200 gr. Apaki or pancetta sliced
- Juice from half a lemon
Soak the beans in plenty of water for 24 hours. Rinse and sprout as described above. It will take 24-48 hours to see the first sprouts.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently fry all the vegetables for 5 ‘ to soften along with the bay leaf. Add the cold broth and beans, then bring to the boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 30 ‘ to 40 ‘. Check often because with soaking beans cook and soften much faster.
When the beans are done, take out the pepper and some of the bean soup with a ladle. Pour it into the blender and liquidize. Strain back into the bean soup, stir well and bring back to the boil for 5′. Meanwhile, quickly fry the Apaki in a frying pan for 5′ and add the lemon juice at the end. Serve the “fasolatha” soup with a little apaki on every plate.
This is probably considered the simplest, most everyday family meal in Greek families. Even then, a simple dish can have its secrets. Equally loved and loved by children, this starchy soup brings back childhood memories as a comforting and filling dish. Although soaking lentils is …
Youvarlakia is a traditional Greek soup featuring meat dumplings with rice and an “avgolemono” (egg and lemon) sauce. I had never tasted them growing up in Greece, since my expat Irish mom didn’t even know them. As I have no childhood memories, I felt quite …
While chicken soup is the consolation prize during the winter’s viruses, this pumpkin soup is for cold blustery days, that feeling you might be coming down with something, even to cheer you up with its vivid color and its sweet and spicy taste, guaranteed to brighten the dark winter months.
In our house there is always homemad bone broth hanging around the kitchen, sometimes simmering for hours on the hob, others counting days down in the fridge, always waiting patiently in the freezer. Our magic kitchen genie always ready to to impart flavour and enrich all our dishes. This soup does not ask for much, a few roughly chopped vegetables and some broth, prepped in 5-10 minutes and then gently simmering away. It’s very simple, but so very rewarding.
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
- 800 gr pumpkin or butternut squash, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 leek, roughly chopped
- 4 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger grated or 1 tbsp dried
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 pinch of cumin
- 1.5 liters of homemade broth
- Salt, pepper
- For serving: crème fraîche or yogurt
In a large pot, sauté the of onion, leek and carrots in oil over a high heat for 5′. Add the pumpkin and spices and stir well. Sauté for another 2′ and then add the broth. Cover and simmer for 40 ‘ until the carrots are well softened. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for 3 minutes.
Serve with rustic bread and a spoonful of crème fraîche or yogurt.