* Herby Bean Rissoles
* Bean and Chilli Hot-Pot
* Spicy Bean Soup
* Beans au Gratin
* Bean Pie - or Gardener's Pie
Herby Bean Rissoles
The dried beans can be quite bland and colourless but, they are very nutritious and lend themselves beautifully to providing a base for your favourite flavours. These rissoles will freeze well. Put a layer of greaseproof paper between each rissole. Use within a couple of months.
275g (10oz) dried beans – kidney, butter, borlotto, yinyang (chickpeas are good too)
50g (2oz) butter
50g (2oz) plain flour
1 large onion – finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves – crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small bunch each of lemon thyme, marjoram and tarragon – finely chopped
1 dsp. finely chopped parsley
2 Tblsp oil for frying
• Soak the beans overnight. Drain off the water.
• Put the beans in a saucepan and just cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer until the beans are soft.
• Cool the beans then mash or put through the food processor.
• Put the chopped onion in a saucepan with the butter and sweat (cook without allowing the onion to brown) until the onion is soft.
• Add the garlic, thyme, marjoram and tarragon and mix in.
• Add the beans, season to taste then stir in the parsley.
• When the mixture is cold divide into even sized rissoles (this mixture should make 6 – 8) Roll in flour and shape.
• Fry in a little hot oil, turning over when the first side has browned. Drain well. (I like these cooked on a griddle without oil.
• Serve with vegetables in cheese sauce or fresh vegetables with a salsa sauce.
Spicy Bean Rissoles
Replace the herbs with curry spices – 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp garam masala, ½ tsp turmeric (add a little Harissa paste if you like it hot)
Fry the spices with the onion then continue as before.
Serve with slices of lemon and a fresh mixed salad.
Vegetable and Bean Rissoles
Replace the herbs with - 50g frozen peas, 50g frozen sweetcorn, a small finely chopped or diced carrot.
In the summertime when fresh vegetables are available from my plot I will use those, otherwise I will use ones I have frozen in the summer.
Cook the vegetables in a microwave or a little water until soft. Cool and add with the mashed beans. Continue as before. Serve with chips, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes.
Don’t freeze if using frozen vegetables.
Bean and Chilli Hotpot
200gm dried beans or chickpeas
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes – or even better – a tub of home-frozen tomato pulp
2 – 3 medium onions finely chopped
2-3 red peppers -finely chopped
1 -2 finely chopped red chillies [ I like Joe’s Long – leave the seeds out if you don’t want it to be too hot]
2 – 3 young courgettes [try Orelia – much dryer and denser than Zucchini]
Garlic – 3-4 large cloves peeled and well chopped
Spices - ½ tsp allspice, 2 tsp cumin, ¼ tsp ground black pepper, ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground coriander
Salt – sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
! Tblsp freshly chopped parsley, 1 Tblsp freshly chopped coriander leaves, 1 Tblsp freshly chopped orinago or marjoram
2 Tblsp good olive oil
¼ Litre red wine
• Soak the beans or chickpeas overnight. Drain, wash and cover with water then bring to the boil and simmer gently until the beans are cooked [the older the beans, the longer it will take them to cook so, consider your supplier].
• Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions, garlic, peppers, chillies and courgettes.
• Allow to sweat – cooking without colour for a few minutes – until the veg is soft.
• Drain the beans or chickpeas and add to the pan.
• Add the tomatoes, wine and seasoning.
• Simmer gently for 30 – 35 minutes – until the beans are soft.
• Add the herbs and stir in well.
• Serve topped with grated cheddar or parmesan and with warm crusty bread.
Spicy Bean Soup
6 oz [ 150gm] dried beans – borlotto, black beans, butter beans, Yinyang, etc
1 large onion – finely chopped
2 Tblsp, good quality olive oil
1 – medium beetroot – peeled and grated or finely chopped
2 medium carrots – washed, peeled and chopped into small pieces
4 large tomatoes – washed, skinned and chopped
1 – 2 good-sized red peppers – washed, seeded and chopped
2 – 3 slices of bacon or ham [uncooked] – minced or finely chopped – if you can get a ham hock bone that would be good
4 cloves of garlic – peeled and well crushed or finely chopped
1 – 2 medium heat chillies – leave the seeds out if you don’t like it too hot
2 leeks – trimmed and well washed, then sliced thinly
2 pints beef or chicken stock
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
½ tsp smoked paprika pepper
1 Tblsp finely chopped parsley
Double cream for serving - optional
• On the previous day pick over and wash the beans of your choice – put into a container large enough to allow the beans to triple in size. Put a tsp. of baking soda [bicarbonate of soda] in the water, if you live in a hard water area.
• Before preparing the soup, drain the beans and wash well with clean water.
• Heat the oil in a large pan [don’t allow it to smoke], add the onions, leeks, beetroot, bacon, chillies and carrots, peppers and sweat [cook without colouring], until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and cook gently.
• Add the beans, stock, black and paprika peppers and bring to the boil.
• Simmer gently until the beans and vegetables are softened and the flavours have blended – 45mins to 1 hour. Test the beans by taking one out of the pan and tasting it. If it is not soft continue cooking for a further 15 minutes then, test again.
• Check your soup for seasoning then add the chopped parsley. You may want to mash the beans and vegetables a little, using a potato masher, to reduce the ‘chunkiness’ of the soup.
• Optional – add a swirl of double cream to the top of the tureen or individual bowls before serving and add a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
• Serve with hot crusty bread.
Beans au Gratin
4 oz [100gm] dried beans – kidney, borlotto, Yinyang, chickpeas, etc
2 - 3 leeks – trimmed, washed and sliced
2 onions – finely chopped
3 – 4 cloves of garlic
2 smallish courgettes – I use Orelia which is dryer and denser than Zucchini
3 oz [75gm]sweetcorn kernels – fresh, frozen or a small tin
3 oz [75gm]shelled peas – you can use frozen
1 large red bell pepper – washed and seeded then, chopped
A small head of cauliflower – washed and broken into small florettes
3oz [ 75gm] butter
3 oz [ 75gm ] plain flour100gm
1 pt [ 570ml] hot chicken or vegetable stock [if you are vegetarian]
Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1 good Tblsp. chopped parsley
Seasalt and freshly ground black pepper
2 oz [50gm] fresh breadcrumbs – brown or white
2 oz [50gm] grated cheddar cheese
• Pick over, wash and soak the beans the previous day or at least 4 hours in advance. Use baking soda [bicarbonate of soda] in the soaking water if you live in a hard water area.
• Rinse the beans well and using fresh water, cover the beans, bring to the boil and simmer until soft.
• Melt the butter with the seasoning and lemon rind. Sweat the onions, and garlic then add the leeks, red pepper, cauliflower and courgettes. Cook gently until the vegetables are soft, taking care not to brown them.
• Add the flour and cook gently until the flour is cooked out without allowing it to brown.
• Gradually add the stock, stirring all the time until you have a smooth sauce around the vegetables. Add the sweetcorn and peas and simmer gently for a further 3 minutes.
• Drain the beans and add them to the mixture along with the lemon juice and chopped parsley. Check the seasoning.
• Pour the mixture into an oven proof dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and grated cheese and bake in a medium to hot oven - 180°C, No 6 Gas for 15 – 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
• Serve immediately with hot crusty bread. – this dish will keep in the fridge to be reheated if necessary.
Bean Pie [or Gardeners Pie] –
like Shepherd’s Pie, which uses minces lamb, or Cottage Pie, which uses minced beef, this pie is for vegetables or for Bean Pie – Beans with Vegetables.
You can also top this with Puff pastry – also very yummy!
6 oz [ 175gm] – dried beans of your choice – or chick peas or blackeyed beans or black eyed peas [which are not really beans, but a sub-species of ‘cowpea’] – delicious, nutritious and very useful nonetheless.
3oz [75gm] butter
3oz [75gm] flour
1 large onion – finely chopped
3 medium sized leeks – trimmed, washed and sliced thinly
1 medium sized parsnip – washed, peeled and chopped finely
2 – 3 good-sized carrots – washed, peeled and sliced finely
1 medium sized green cabbage – trimmed, washed and sliced
A good slice from a medium sized squash or pumpkin – peeled and cut into chunks
3 oz [ 75gm] sweetcorn kernels – fresh, frozen or a small tin
4 large garlic cloves – peeled and well crushed or chopped
1 pt [ 570ml] hot chicken or vegetable stock
6 large tomatoes – skinned and chopped [you can also use frozen or tinned chopped tomatoes]
Chopped fresh herbs – tsp. each of tarragon, lemon thyme, oregano
¼ tsp chopped rosemary, 1 good handful chopped parsley
Sea salt and freshly crushed black pepper
For the Topping
2 lb [1 kg] potatoes – preferably floury or ‘general purpose’ potatoes
5fluid oz, ¼ pt [ 150ml] hot milk
1 oz [25gm] butter
• Pick over the beans, wash and put in a container large enough to allow the beans to triple in size. Cover with water and leave overnight or for at least 4 hours. If you live in a hard water area, add 1 tsp baking soda [Bicarbonate of soda] to the water.
• When the beans have soaked, wash them well, then cover with fresh water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 – 45mins and taste one of the beans to see if it is cooked. If not continue for another 15 mins or so and test again.
• Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion, carrot, leeks and parsnips and sweat [cook without colour], add the garlic, herbs and flour. Cook gently until the flour is cooked out but without colouring.
• Gradually add the hot stock until a non-lumpy vegetable sauce is attained – allowing for the vegetables. Add the sweetcorn , tomatoes and chopped cabbage. Stir well, check the seasoning.
• Drain and add the cooked beans. Put into an oven-proof dish. Allow to cool
• Wash and peel the potatoes and cook until soft – taking care that they don’t disintegrate.
• Drain well, mash thoroughly and add seasoning, hot milk and butter. Mix well.
• Pipe or spread the potato mixture on top of the bean filling.
• Bake in a medium hot oven - 180°C, No 6 gas, for 30 – 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
• I love this with pickled beetroot and or a good sharp, spicy chutney or relish.