Thursday, June 07, 2007

Kamut Bean Stew

I don't know where the sun went, but it's on some kind of vacation from Vancouver. Since Monday, it's been chilly, rainy and cloudy. Makes me grumbly. I'm a warm weather gal, so after I've broken out the capris and t's, I'm not happy to pull out the jeans and jackets again. Grumble. Grumble.
The only good thing about the cooler temps for me is soup. I love, love, love soup! I'm sure I've said that before. It may take a little chopping at first, but then, the pot and stove does the rest of the work. Plus, it's one of the easiest ways to get wholesome legumes, grains, and veggies in one meal. Plus plus, there's almost always leftovers for another one or two meals. How can you not love all that?

Being chilled to the bone yesterday, I made a pot of Kamut Bean Stew from Vive. As the name suggests, this soup has kamut in it. The whole kamut grain. I don't use whole kamut a lot, but I love it in this soup. Here it is, the grains are larger than rice and have a beautiful golden color. It has a chewy texture when cooked, and does not soften like rice. In this soup, that chewy bite is welcome, amongst the softer vegetables and rice. Cooked kamut grain would also work well in summer salads, either in part with other grains (ex: quinoa, wild rice), and along with veggies and some softer textures (ex: tomato, avocado, corn, cooked green peas).

This soup also has celery root (also called celeriac). For those of you unfamiliar with this vegetable, it is not actually the root of the common celery. Rather, it is a relative of celery, and celeriac is grown specifically for its large bulbous
root. While it may be a rather unattractive at first glance, celery root has a lovely mild celery flavor, and without the stringy texture of celery. It is often chopped (after peeling), and cooked in soups and casseroles, mashed (with or without potatoes), or roasted. But it can be eaten raw, grated or finely chopped to add to salads.

I didn't have any, so I subbed a sweet potato in its place. Now, when I say a sweet potato here, I mean the yellow flesh variety, that's like - a very sweet potato. Not the orange flesh 'sweet potato', that here in Canada we know as yams. I've covered this before, but just wanted to clarify what I used in the soup. The sweet potato was a terrific substitution. I may have liked it even better for this time of year.

Also, to get more of that celery flavor in the soup, I chopped up some of the heart of the celery. You see it here, the dense part of the celery, right in the centre after all the stalks are used. Most of us throw this away (myself included), but it actually has a lot of celery flavor, and isn't stringy like the stalks are.

The flavors in this soup are very comforting for me. Along with the celery, sweet potato, and kamut grain, this soup has plenty of beans (kidney and adzuki, but I used black beans in place of adzuki this time), and is delicately seasoned with coriander seeds, fennel seeds, dill seeds, and bay leaves. It is mellow and comforting, and is the kind of meal that you just feel good after eating. You know, wholesome goodness of real food.

Oh, yes, us vegans do eat "real food", despite what some may think. Check out Erik's recent podcast and blog post about the latest with Nina.

As promised, I have also posted the Lemon-Herb Tofu recipe. Also check out this post for a great sandwich idea.


Anonymous said...

Gosh that looks so yummy!

laura jesser said...

I'm sorry the sun's been evading you - it's been hanging out here quite a lot. We just had a nice little downpour but the sun's back out again!

I've never used celery root before, but I must try it soon. Sweet potato does sound like a good substitution - I love anything that includes that veggie. I'm glad that you at least got to have a comforting bowl of soup in this chilly weather!

Harmonia said...

I love all of the colors in this dish! Full of vitamins and nutrients! YAY!

Michelle said...

this is one of the recipes i haven't tried yet.. i need to get my hands on some whole kamut... i think i'll have to go to the bigger natural food store to see if they carry it. we had a slew of cold days last week, and we pulled a bunch of soups out of the freezer! yummy! good thing, i am way tooo tired to cook right now!

maybepigscanfly said...

we've been having cold days here too, so I totally get the need for soup. This soup I haven't yet tried, and I've never had the whole kamut grain before, only Kamut pasta, cereal... I really do need to give it a try, and this soup is just the place to begin. It would actually be a few firsts for me, with the celeriac root too. I always see it at our little market, but to be honest, I'm totally intimidated by it. Thanks for posting about these goodies- ya never know till you try things.


Anonymous said...

It was so summery a couple weeks ago and now it feels like fall. What is going on?
I have a cookie question. In VIVE, the recipe for homestyle chocolate chip cookies calls for 1/4 cup oil. Beside that it says "(a little generous)". Does that mean that a 1/4 cup is a generous amount or does it mean that I should be generous with the oil?
I have used the word generous so many times that sound weird now!!!!


Dreena said...

Thanks my sweets!

Michelle - I'm feeling for you. That first trimester is so draining, add two little ones on top of that, and the daycare that you do... you are a superwoman. Take a break from cooking and enjoy it.

Hi Angie, well the 1/4 "generous" means to let the measure go just a little over 1/4 cup. It would probably work out to 1/4 cup + 1 - 1 1/2 tsp. Sometimes you can judge if you need a little more by the density of your batter too. As you are mixing it together, if iit is quite thick and dense and not coming together very well, mix a couple extra teaspoons of maple syrup with a couple extra teaspoons of canola oil, and work that through the batter. Sometimes the flours vary in dryness, and then also time of year can affect the moisture in the flour, so some adjusting may be needed. But as for my 1/4 cup generous measure, just go a little over the measure and you should be fine!! :)