Category Archives: dried legumes

Winter Recipes – April 23, 2017: Celeriac and Spinach Soup & Roasted Kidney Beans

In searching for cooking demo recipe ideas that would highlight vegetables available on our April market day, I found a lovely recipe for Celeriac and Spinach Soup on the United Kingdom Allrecipes site that totally fit the bill. The measurements were all in metric, which led me to make an error when figuring out the amount of water needed, which, happily, led to my discovering that cooked cannellini beans are great for thickening and are also the perfect flavor match for this soup.

I also neglected to think through my saucepan choice when grabbing a size up from the market pan from my own supply of cookware. Note to self: make sure all cookware for demos works on an induction burner. Disaster was averted because Memorial Hall, where the market was located, has a kitchen with a stove.

Because I used way too much water, albeit was able to save the day and create a soup that was rather splendid, if I do say so myself, I made it again at home so I could be sure of the proportions of the veggies to water, etc. before sharing the recipe. The following recipe makes 4 cups of soup, less than the original recipe but easy to halve, double, and adapt to your liking.

Cook’s Note: While you can use a regular vegetable peeler and box grater to prep the celeriac, I (with my arthritic thumb joints) recommend using a ceramic Y type peeler or use a knife to slice off the peel and use the grate option on a food processor if that is an option. Also, although the original recipe calls for “young leaf spinach,” the regular fresh spinach I used, including an inch or two of the stems, cooked down and puréed just fine.

For the soup, I used celeriac and spinach from Farmer Dave’s, an onion from Oakdale Farm, beans from Baer’s Beans, Greek yogurt from The Roasted Granola Co., and Ras el Hanou (an African spice mix that contains nutmeg, among many other ingredients) from Soluna Garden Farm, who will, someday I hope, join our market. They are located in Winchester and also have an online store. I highly recommend you check them via

Celeriac and Spinach Soup

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, 5 oz or so, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 celeriac, about 10 oz, peeled and grated to make three cups lightly packed
3 1/2 cups water*
1/2 pound spinach to make 7 cups lightly packed
½ cup cooked cooked cannellini beans* (optional)
½ tsp Ras el Hanou* (or grated nutmeg to taste, see directions, below)
salt (start with ½ tsp) and pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp Greek-style yogurt* per cup, stirred in (optional)

NOTES: *I used plain water, but the veggie stock called for in the original recipe would be a nice addition. I used the beans at the demo and I think they add a wow factor, but my batch at home was also great without them. I highly recommend investing in a jar of Ras el Hanou, but I am sure just the nutmeg that the original recipe calls for would add a lovely touch, as well. As to the yogurt, if you don’t do dairy, leave it out and use the beans if you want a thicker soup.

Directions: Cook the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes or until getting soft. Add the celeriac. Pour in the water of stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the celeriac is tender. Stir the spinach into the soup, bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Let the soup cool slightly before puréeing it with an immersion blender or in batches with a standard blender or food processor. Add cooked beans if using, adding water if too thick. Reheat the soup, if necessary, then stir in the Ras el Hanou or a little grated nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Or not; it is tasty either way.

This recipe was adapted from I encourage you to check it out as it includes lots of tips for further adaptation.

Great snack – just roast some cooked legumes!

I also sprinkled a bit of tamari over some light red kidney beans from Baer’s Beans that I had cooked earlier, spread them in one layer on a foil-lined tray, and popped them into the market toaster oven preheated to 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. It made for a fun and tasty part crunchy, part chewy, and very nutritious snack. Seconds on samples were requested by many.


Winter Recipes – February 19, 2017: Spaghetti Squash with Kale and Cannellini Beans

There is nothing like bright green and yellow veggies to liven up cooking in the winter.  Hmm, I bet some julienned carrots would go with this dish, taste-wise, along with adding even more color. But, the recipe totally works as is.

While you do have to plan ahead to have the cooked squash and beans available, this meal otherwise comes together in minutes. Click HERE and scroll down  for easy instructions for cooking beans. As noted below, you can used canned beans in this recipe, but cooking up from dried is worth the time, especially if you have freshly dried local beans, such as from our farmers at Baer’s Beans. They really are the best! At the What’s Cooking? demo, we used Cannellini beans from Baer’s Bean’s, spaghetti squash, kale, and garlic from our farmers at Oakdale Farm, and, the All Purpose Seasoning from Bondat Foods.

Spaghetti Squash with Kale and
Cannellini Beans

  • 1 medium-large spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups  chopped kale leaves
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini beans *
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • A pinch of Bondat Foods All Purpose Seasoning (optional but recommended)

Prick holes in the squash with a kitchen fork, cut it in half lengthwise, and scrape out seeds and pulp. Bake the squash for approx. 45 minutes in oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit or until soft.

While the squash is cooking, prep the other ingredients. When squash is fully cooked, remove from oven and put open side up to cool a bit.

Heat 1-2 Tbsp oil in a 12 in frying pan, add garlic, and cook over medium heat until fragrant.

Add kale and cook down, 3-5 minutes or more to desired texture.

Stir in cannellini beans, then scrape strands of squash out into the pan.

Mix everything together in the pan over heat for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. If available, sprinkle over and stir in a pinch or so of the All Purpose Seasoning. The recipe is great as is, but the extra seasoning pops it with an extra depth.

*one 15 oz can beans, drained, can be substituted.

Winter Recipes – December 18, 2016: Quick Celeriac Slaw and Cooking Dried Legumes. No Soaking Needed!


While you probably won’t find celeriac in your average grocery store, it is worth hunting down at a winter farm stand or market. It’s low in calories, high in fiber, has a lovely crunch when raw, and a mellow “celeryish/almost but not quite turnipy” flavor that deepens when roasted. And, it Before storing in the fridge, remove any attached greens and store them separately to use as garnish or in salads. Peel using a sturdy chef’s or paring knife to cut off ALL the tough, fibrous skin. And yes, this is one homely vegetable!

To use raw, grate or julienne for slaws, salads, or to give a crunch to a sandwich or a cooked soup, stew, or casserole dish. You can also roast it in chunks, slice thin to bake into “chips,” or even slice it to make “French fries!” You can also cook it by boiling or steaming and serve seasoned with butter and herbs or puree into a soup. NOTE: After prepping, toss with a little lemon in water to keep from browning if not cooking or putting in a vinegar or lemon based salad right away.

Quick Celeriac Slaw

Simply combined equal amounts of grated celeriac, carrots, and apple, and then add finely chopped white or red onion to taste. That’s it! You must of course peel the cereriac and onion, but just scrub the carrot and grate the whole thing, and rinse the apple, quarter to remove the core, and grate the flesh holding the skin side of the apple until you are lef with just the skin in your hand for disposal. So easy, healthy, and most important, REALLY refreshingly tasty!

Boston baked beans are great! But what else to do with legumes? Charley of Baer’s Best Beans, whose legumes we featured this month, recommends eating the Black Coco or other dark beans right out of the oven or room temperature with a dash of tamari or soy sauce. We tried it at the market. Delicious! You can also toss any kind of cooked bean into a green or veggie salad, mash for a bean dip or spread or as a base for veggie burgers,  or pureed for a soup or stew. Plus, you can always cook a batch and freeze to use later in soups, stews, dips, or spreads.

But, what if you want to cook and use the beans now but forgot to soak them? No fear. You do NOT NEED TO SOAK DRIED BEANS BEFORE COOKING. Really! And, let’s clear up the “when to salt issue, while we are here. Multiple studied published in the likes of the Journal of Food Science and the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, as well as experiments by the folks at the Cook’s Illustrated Test Kitchen have shown salt to decrease cooking time and even produce beans with a softer skin. The salt also makes your beans taste better, as the salt penetrates the whole bean, rather than only flavoring the surface. But, salt before or after, here it how to cook beans without having to soak beforehand.

No Soak Method for Cooking Dried Beans
Preheat oven to 350.
Put 1 pound of dried beans in a Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot or casserole, cover with 1 to 1 ½ inch water. Add 1 tsp salt per pound beans, cover tightly, and cook for about 1 hour and fifteen minutes or until most of the water is absorbed and the beans are tender. NOTE:  Check beans after 45 minutes to stir and add water if needed, then check/stir occasionally until done to desired tenderness.

Don’t need to cook a pound of beans? Cook only what you need! For example, put 1/4 pound in a quart corning ware with 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt. Cover and cook the as recipe above directs.