Friday, October 4, 2013

Cannellini and Lamb soup

'cuz everything's better with coriander, right?

I recently discussed eating legumes with a friend and as a consequence decided to look up some recipes containing them in Jerusalem. This specific recipe does contain beans but obviously doesn't encourage vegetarianism.
I have an ambivalent relationship with legumes. I hated them as a child. Now I like them, but not love them, and only when they're nicely cooked and not tough. This specific recipe involves:
-lamb (the piece I used was about 150 grs I guess).
- 200 grs cannellini beans
- Charlotte potatoes-it's up to you how many, really.
-4 cardamome pods. And crush them! I didn't, and they kept floating in my soup.
a tbsp tomato purée

Put the lamb, cut in cubes, in boiling water with salt. Let simmer about 20 mins and remove the scum regularly. I'm not used to boiling meat, and it's not pretty. Especially if you don't watch your pot because you're trying to see The Simpsons in the meantime, and find your pan exploding with brownish foam, But it does go away . So you should have a broth, at this point.. Add the cannellini, which should have been left to soak overnight (or a whole day). This is important or they'll be uneadible. Don't listen to anyone who tells you it's enough to soak legumes for a few hours. Add the cardamome pods and the tomato purée. Leave to simmer for one hour (this time you can watch tv in the process, as long as you go check the pot once in a while and add water if necessary). Add the potatoes, wait another 20 mins, or until the beans and potatoes are soft.

This is a warm, conforting dish. However I add a few issues with it. Mainly, it's a bit of a pain to make. It doesn't require massive activity but it takes long, and boiling the meat was a pain. Then, the cannellini were ok, but still a bit tough for my taste. I've been advised to use baking soda in the soaking water. Thirdly, but this admittedly my fault since I don't really bother with proportions, there were tons of beans and potatoes and not that much meat. I had beans and potato soup for two more days. I know a lot of people deliberately create leftovers but I don't, I'm too worried I'll end up throwing out stuff if have a few unplanned restaurant trips or something (it has been known to happen, by the way)... The potatoes felt stuffy and kinda pointless. I guess they add carbs to the dish, but I'm wondering if a handful of rice wouldn't have been more pleasant.
My verdict: an interesting dish but not one I plan to make again soon, except maybe for guests where the effort and large quantities make more sense.

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