3-Bean ((NO-PEEK)) Soup Meets Orcas Island
I took a little break from the blog — I both missed it and enjoyed it all at the same time. While the blog was quiet, life was very full. We took a 16 day trip to my most favorite place in the world :: Orcas. For the first 10 days, it was just me and the herd. We left the bread-winner at home to win bread while we island-hopped, trail-hiked, beach-walked, tide pool-studied and good food-ate (just to name a few of our time-consuming delights).
Somedays, we would catch the morning ferry to Friday Harbor or leave for a long hike and wouldn’t return home until 6 or 7 in the evening. It took me one time of walking in past dinner-time, tired & hungry ((with no warm meal ready to serve)), to realize it was time to pull out the “No-Peek” dinnertime saver.
I have mentioned many times how much I love my No Peek recipes. Whether I am homeschooling all day or out running kids to lessons, practice and appointments, there hasn’t been one time a No Peek meal didn’t save the day. Just to refresh your memory – click HERE to see some of my favorite no peek recipes.
Orcas has a really nice farmer’s market and many local farms open to the public. Beautiful, fresh local produce and many homegrown heirloom vegetables, plums, pears and apples seem to be around every corner. I found a new green bean (Flambo) – which I can’t wait to try out in next year’s garden. Freshly picked plums, apples, pears, carrots, onions and beach strawberries were among my favorite purchases. ((If you ever get the chance to try beach strawberries, take it! They were so very sweet – like candy.))
For this recipe, I combined a few fresh local ingredients with some of my favorite pantry staples:
- fresh ½ lb long beans
- fresh, young Flambo beans (a butter bean type, picked early so the husk is still edible)
- new potatoes
- Italian parsley
- dried northern beans
- white wine
- salt & pepper
placed them in a large pot and into the oven at 225° for about 8 hours.
I admit – the soup is at its peak of beauty BEFORE it’s baked. Aren’t those Flambo beans gorgeous? Although the vibrant colors fade while in the oven, the flavors become so intensely amazing. The dried beans become so tender and plump while the fresh beans, carrots & potatoes soften perfectly. The wine adds a slightly sweet, refined richness that so clearly contrasts the humble, earthy ingredients.
I imagine this is the type of soup one would enjoy in a small French farming village — or, if you are me, on Orcas Island…
Right before service, I added additional salt & pepper to taste and stirred in just a few tablespoons of heavy cream. Cream makes everything better!
What a treat to have this hearty, simple, flavor-packed soup greet us after a long day of gorgeous ferry rides among the San Juan Islands, hikes in magnificent evergreen forests and strolls along our little piece of backyard beach. As this soup recipe makes its way to our dinnertime menu back home in Oklahoma, it will forever remind us of our extended stay on Orcas Island.
- 1 lb fresh green beans, cleaned*
- 1 lb dried northern beans
- 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
- 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 lb fresh carrots, washed and cut into 1" pieces
- 4 medium new potatoes, washed and cut into 1" pieces
- 1 T salted butter
- 3-5 T fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 t sea salt
- 1 t ground black pepper
- 2 c white wine, I used Riesling
- 3-4 T heavy cream
- Heat oven to 225°. Place all ingredients into an 8-10 qt. lidded pot. Fill the pot with water, up to 2" below the top of the pot. Cover and place in the warm oven on a lower rack. Cook for approximately 8 hours.
- When cooking time is complete, remove soup from the oven, add cream and any additional salt or pepper.
- Serves 10
- *I used 1/2 pound each of two types of fresh heirloom green beans, a long bean and Flambo.
- **If you need the soup to be ready earlier, increase oven temp 275°-325° and reduce cooking time to 5-6 hours.