Saturday, 13 September 2008

Herbed Bean Stewp for my Baby

Some of you may have noticed by now that my baby girl is a sensitive gal. Generally squeamish towards meat and troubled by dairy. Sugar and caffeine can also be problematic if she is feeling low. I must have the only child who, when feeling vulnerable, craves legumes, lentils and vegetables. Not that she is a child anymore. My baby recently turned 19 and is technically an adult, but she still comes home to mom for some healthy food to get her energy up.

Her favourites are soups (which are technically stews in my house as you can generally stand a fork up in them) and curries and dahls. When she came home from her first few days of university with sneezes, mommy made her soup. Or stewp, to be exact.

I used herbs from my garden, a generous amount of sage, and tied them up in a bouquet garni. Bouquet garni is just a fun French term for cute little bundle of aromatics that you can fish out of the pot when you are finished with them without any trouble at all. Or something like that. This is a great way to cook with sage as it can be fuzzy and strong to actually chew on.

Before I get to the recipe, I would like to invite you to check out Other People's Pantries #33 at The Perfect Pantry. The featured pantry is none other than yours truly's.

Herbed Bean Stewp for my baby.

1 Bouquet Garni - Small handful of sage leaves, thyme and peppercorns, tied up in a cheesecloth bundle
2 leeks, cleaned - white and light green parts only - sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
In a heavy bottom pot, heat oil and leeks on medium. Sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring often, covered, until soft. About 15 minutes.

2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 cups chopped green cabbage
1 hot pepper, chopped fine

Add veggies and bouquet garni to leeks, combine and gently sauté for 5 more minutes.

3 cups stock, chicken or vegetable
1 cup white wine
1 square good vegetable bouillon
Generous grind of black pepper

Bring to boil, reduce heat to low simmer and let cook 20 minutes or until veggies are tender.

1 can white beans, 14 fl oz, drained and rinsed
1 cup parsley leaves, plus more for garnish

Let cook 10 more minutes, stirring gently.
Remove bouquet garni.
Adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve with some whole grain crusty bread and garnish with more parsley.

I am submitting this dish for Weekend Herb Blogging, a weekly event celebrating herbs - created by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen. This week is hosted by Gretchen from Canela & Comino.