Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cranberry Bean Soup/Curry?

I use a lot of legume/lentils in my daily cooking. You see, being vegetarians, it is not easy to get our required protein unless beans/lentils/legume is a part of every day diet. But, I had never ever dreamed of using cranberry beans in my life. When I won Susan's MLLA last month, I received a box of beans from Hurst. It had cranberry beans, lima beans, rajma/red kidney beans, lentils, brown eyed beans. I used up brown eyed beans last week by cooking it just like making rajma masala. To be honest, I liked that better than rajma. I have to see where to get these locally. Today, I decided to use up Cranberry Beans.

This dish was motivated by one of the food network shows by Ann Burrell. She was cooking beans with chicken stock, fish and some other seafood. She had fennels as one of the veggies. I didn't use any part of her dish except for using potato slices (big slices) to mimic her use of fish. She had seared her fish and let it cook in the final dish. I kind of toasted raw potato slices on the skillet and once they had brown spots, put them in the almost done beans soup. So, potatoes were cooked in the entire masala concoction. Also, this dish can be a one meal dish with some bread. On the show, she had used some grilled bread and dunk them in the soup. I made it to such a consistency that we could have it as soup with bread or as a curry with chapathis. It goes very well with rice too.

Here goes my recipe..

  • Dry cranberry beans - 1 16 Oz pack soaked at least for 4 hours or overnight and pressure cooked with salt. (See Note)
  • Red Onions - 3 medium or 2 big sliced thin into 3/4" strips.
  • Tomatoes - 2 big or 3 medium cut into medium sized chunks
  • Carrots - 2 medium peeled and cut into medium chunks
  • Oil - 3 TBSP divided use
  • Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic pods - 3 crushed
  • Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp or to taste
  • Garam masala - 1 tsp or to taste
  • Turmeric - a big pinch
  • Salt - to taste
  • Cilantro - chopped finely about 1/4 cup
  • Potatoes - 2 medium peeled and sliced into 1/2" thick discs
  • Amchoor powder - 1/4 tsp or to taste (Optional - you could squeeze some lime juice if you don't want to use this)

In a skillet, heat 2 TBSP of oil. When hot, add cumin seeds. When they splutter, add crushed garlic, sliced onions, turmeric and a little bit of salt. Let it cook for a minute or two. Now, add the carrot chunks and stir. Once the onions are cooked, add tomatoes and the cooked beans. If there is too much water, reserve some to adjust the consistency later. Meanwhile, heat another skillet and use the remaining 1 TBSP of oil to coat it. Place the potato slices on it. Let it get brown spots and get a char. Flip them and repeat the same on the other side too. Add garam masala, amchoor powder is using, chilli powder to the beans pot. Adjust the salt. Now, take these potato slices and dump them in the beans pot. Cover with a lid and let the potatoes cook completely in the beans mixture. Add chopped cilantro and adjust the seasoning if needed. Adjust the thickness by adding more reserved water or plain water if needed. Let it all simmer for a minute or two and turn off the heat.
Since this is packed with protein (beans), veggies (you can add your favorite ones) and starch (potatoes), it is a complete meal by itself. Serving with bread or rotis is just an addition to it.
Serve with toasted bread or chapathis or even rice.
For more information on this wonderful beans, read this.

I cooked the beans in pressure cooker to make it easy. If you want nice and firm looking beans, you may choose to boil them in a stock pot.

Since I won these in MLLA, it is very natural for me to send this entry to current month's MLLA hosted here, which was started by Susan.

The Bread that you see in the picture is 'Whole Wheat and quinoa sourdough bread'.

Interested in more legume/lentil recipes, check out Methi Malai Matar, Black Eyed Beans Tomato Sauce Curry, Kala Chana Masala, Black Eyed Beans Curry in Peanut Sauce, Matar Tofu, Dilly Masoor Dal, Methi Subzi with Split green peas and Long Squash Spinach Dal. See, I wasn't lying when I said I use lot of legume in my daily cooking.

Happy Cooking!! Pin It


  1. This one looks so healthy. I can just have it as a meal :)

  2. ummm.. delicious.. love the pic :)

  3. A delicious curry and a meal in itself!

  4. never had cranberries but the dish looks real comforting. love the combo with toasts. my all time fav.

  5. Wow..looks so good and comforting..very healthy..

  6. Great soup - this looks delicious!!

  7. Congratulations on your win, Champa. The soup looks just amazing-- give me a bowl of that hearty soup anytime!

  8. Hearty and healthy too.Looks wonderful.

  9. That looks so healthy and wonderful :)

  10. What a great way to use the cranberry beans! Hope you enjoyed the rest of your prizes too!

  11. Very nice recipe, more like a stew than a soup, nice and healthy!


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