The most magical of fruits…

Well, not so much a fruit, but this protein packed legume is a delicious, high-fiber, low-calorie addition to traditional Italian ‘minestrina’ (a broth-based soup with vegetables and more often than not, pasta).   We typically grow several varieties of beans in our garden, with the Roman Bean being the star of the garden, grown in abundance.   Harvesting these speckled beauties begins in late July/early August and runs through to late September.   beansWe prepare them in a number of ways, and what truly makes these beans magical is after dropping in boiling water, the purple disappears!  Here are a few preparations that work well with any bean:

– boiled with garlic cloves, drained, and dressed with olive oil, onion, fresh parsley & basil, salt, and pepper

– boiled then cooked in tomato sauce with fresh basil chiffonade

– lightly steamed, cooled, and tossed with boiled potatoes, fresh-cut tomatoes, salt, pepper, olive oil, and a minced hot pepper

Here is a delightful fall harvest soup, using these beans and several other treats from the garden at this special time of year. 

I began with a simple broth made with Star Porcini Mushroom bouillon (about 6 cups water and 2 bouillon cubes).

Once boiling, add:

1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh green beans

2 chopped plum tomatoes

1 small minced onion

1 finely sliced hot pepper (such as Jalepeno)

a handful of chopped zucchini flowers (if available)

few tablespoons of freshly chopped herbs (basil and parsley)

Continue to boil an additional 5-8 minutes, then add 1/2 pound spaghetti broken into three equal parts – boil for about 10 minutes.

Preparing soup with broken pasta is a popular dish in my parents’ region of Calabria and called, “Pasta Ruta,” literally meaning, ‘broken pasta.’  Savory and warming, this is a great way to get your fill of veggies and settle in to a chilly Fall evening.  Buon Apetito!pasta ruta

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