A great Soup provides such great joie d’vivre on a cold night.
This recipe for Turtle Beans can be slow cooked in the Rice Cooker on the slow-cook setting, in a slow cooker or on the st. Turtle Beans have a dense, earthy texture and flavor, slightly salty and reminiscent of mushrooms. This dish can be used as a thick soup, or served over rice.
The recipe is for a slow cooked version, but it can be adapted for the stove top. I have also made this soup with whole masoor – whole red lentils – with great success.
Turtle Beans Slow Cooked
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 8 or more hours
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it
2 Tblspn or more ghee or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped (dice if stalks are wide)
1 red capsicum, diced
1 – 2 carrots, diced
5 garlic cloves, chopped fine or put through a garlic press
1 fresh red chilli, chopped finely (or use dried if you don’t have fresh)
1 Tblspn cumin seed
1.5 tspn turmeric powder
2 cups turtle beans (black beans)
1/4 – 1 Tblspn chilli powder, depending on your tolerance for heat.
1/2 – 1 tspn smoked paprika (optional)
7 cups water or vegetarian stock
juice of a lime or half a lemon
Celtic sea salt
First of all fry off the mirepoix in your slowcooker bowl if it is one that you can put on the stove top, or in a separate pan.
Add the oil or ghee, and after a few moments, add the diced onions, celery, carrots and capsicum. Stir with a wooden spoon and allow to sauté until soft and looking like they are beginning to brown. The browning adds a depth of flavour to the dish.
Add the garlic, fresh chilli and cumin seed. Stir and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.
Now switch the slow cooker to its slowest cooking setting.
Add the sauteed vegetable mix, the beans, turmeric, chilli powder and stock or water. Stir, close the lid and cook on low heat for up to 9 hours. Slow cooked dishes are infinitely forgiving in the amount of time that they are cooked.
Some cookers will cook quicker than others, ie at a higher temperature. Check the cooker after about 5 hours for water levels and “doneness”. I made this in my daughter’s cooker and it was sufficiently cooked after 5.5 hours. It is worth doing a test run when you use your slow cooking setting for the first time.
As you are preparing the rest of the meal, tip the soup into a saucepan and bring to a simmer on the stove. With an immersion blender, partially puree the soup in the pan so that some of the beans are pureed and some beans remain whole. If you dont have an immersion blender, blend half of the soup in a blender.
Add the lemon or lime juice and season with salt and a pinch of black pepper. Allow it to simmer until you are ready to serve. Or if you want to keep it until the next day (flavour improves even more), simmer for 10 minutes, cool and refrigerate.
Serve with fresh green coriander and/or a dollop of yoghurt, sour cream, creme fraiche or mascarpone cream (leave off for a vegan dish).
other ways with Turtle Beans
- Turtle Bean Salad with crunchy red and green peppers, onion, coriander and a tangy umeboshi vinegar dressing.
- Turtle Bean HotPot made with sweet corn, leeks, onion, bay leaves, mint, garlic, cajun style spices, paprika, black pepper, fennel seed, cinnamon, thyme, cayenne.