Silverbeet with Cannellini Bean Soup

My silver beet seems to be in something of an exponential growth stage – which is fortunate given I seem to have failed to plant enough broccoli this year (actually there may be enough if the purple sprouting ever produces any…).  So while I await the caulis and cabbage I am thinking of exciting things to do with silver beet.

When I wrote a previous post on growing silver beet/chard my friend Susie left this recipe in the comments.  I have been meaning to try it ever since and have finally got round to it this week.  It was fabulous.  I have been trying to think of a good name for it, but have clearly failed dismally.  In fact I’m not even really sure its a soup – stew is probably more accurate – except that its not really stewed…. Oh well it tastes good regardless.

Silver beet with Cannellini Beans (serves 2 for lunch)

  • 100g dried cannellini beans soaked overnight
  • A bunch a silver beet (about 8 big leaves) finely sliced
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2-4 slices sour dough or country style bread toasted
  • 50g parmesan shaved
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tblspns olive oil

Stock for beans:

  • 2 litres water
  • 1 carrot cut into large chunks
  • A few parsley stalks
  • A couple of sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tomato diced
  • Other aromatic vegetables as available (eg fennel, cabbage leaves, celery)

Tie the parsley talks and the thyme together.  When cutting any other aromatic vegetables cut them into fairly large pieces as you want to be able to easily separate them from the beans.  Place all the stock ingredients with the beans into the water and bring to a boil.  Simmer until the beans are cooked – this usually takes at least an hour.  Keep an eye on it to ensure there is enough water to cook the beans and have a decent amount of stock to pour over the remaining ingredients later.

Saute the onions in the olive oil, after a couple of minutes add the garlic and the silver beet.  Cook until all are soft.  Strain the stock from the beans into the pan with the onions and silver beet.  Separate the beans from the other stock ingredients.  You don’t need to be too fastidious – I quite like bits of tomato in my dish.  Mix the beans into the silver beet stew/soup.  Season.  Place the toasted bread into shallow bowls and pour the silver beet mixture over the top.  Place parmesan on top and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil if inclined.

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