Friday, 21 October 2011

Fool Nabed and Black Bean Soup

Our Mum used to make wonderful lamb or beef stews for Saturday lunch in the winter days in England.  I still remember going to the butcher’s shop to buy “best end of neck of lamb” -  very bony indeed, but the basis of a good lamb stew.  

She also made “doughboys” (dumplings) to add to the stews  -  I never cared much for them!

But I cannot remember that Mum ever made soup.  The soups we ate were usually out of a can  -- Heinz’ tomato soup being the staple.

Nowadays I make my own soups.  I find that canned soups are far too salty for my taste.  

One of my favourites is Black Bean Soup.  I use a recipe (available via the internet)  which you’ll find by searching for “Black Bean Soup – Panera Bread style”.

I change one thing on this recipe.  I used store bought vegetable stock instead of chicken bouillon cubes. The stock has much less sodium than has the cubes. 

I made a batch of this a week ago, and had a bowlful for lunch on five consecutive days.  (To be truthful, it was better than the version of black bean soup which is available at the Panera Bread chain).

Fava Beans are high on the list of my favourite foods.  The “fresh beans-in-the pod” used to be hard to find in these United States, but they appear on the shelves of good supermarkets more and more these days.

In the U.K. we know them as “Broad Beans”.  

In France they are called “Fève” – and there they are sometimes eaten raw – dipped in a wee bit of salt.

I have discovered that Fava Beans are well liked in the Near East.  

With that in mind I brewed up some “Fool Nabed” – (an Egyptian soup made from Fava Beans) earlier this week. I used canned beans.

The result was (shall I say) “just O.K.”.  What might have been bland was rescued by the good flavour of the cumin which is part of the recipe.  I suspect that it would have been better had I started with fresh or dried beans.

(The internet is a good source for Fool Nabed recipes).

Homemade Black bean soup anyone? 

Homemade Fava bean soup anyone? 

“SOUPER!”:  and better than any soup out of a can.

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