Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lamb and Bean Soup

Working on my lamb recipes, while cleaning out my spice rack I came across a batch of dried bean and vegetable soup mix. So...I took out some lamb stew meat from the freezer and thawed that and then made the following soup. Tim swears it's one of my best soups ever, but he says that about all my soups now that I finally got the broth down to perfection.
1 lb cubed lamb or lamb stew meat
1/2 cup seasoned flour for dredging
olive oil
1 part dried bean soup mix to 8 parts liquid (I used a mixture of lamb broth and tomato water I reserved from thawing my tomatoes)
3 carrots cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 stalks celerey cut into 1/2 inch slices
1-2 large onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4-6 frozen tomatoes, thawed and skinned (or 1 can whole stewed tomatoes)
2-3 T ground cumin
2 T ground coriander
2 T ground chili powder
1 T ground cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup wine or sherry
lemon juice to finish
Optional: chopped greens to add just before finishing soup
Place a large stock pot or soup kettle over medium heat with a couple Tablespoons of olive oil.
Dredge the meat in flour seasoned with salt and pepper and then brown meat in the olive oil.
Set aside the meat and then add a couple more T olive oil to pan and saute onions, carrots and celerey until the onions are transluscent. Add the garlic and cook for about 1-2 more minutes. Add the spices EXCEPT salt and pepper and stir. Add the meat, tomatoes and the bean soup mixture into the pot, and stir, then add liquid. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours or until the beans are softened. Once the beans are soft, turn the heat back up to medium, wine and then salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 10 minutes, then add 2 T lemon juice and chopped greens, if desired. During the summer and fall when all the sauteeing greens are in abundance I chop and blanch them then drain them, cool them and freeze in plastic freezer bags. I then have local greens on hand all winter for adding to casseroles, soups and stews.
This soup is awesome the second, third and fourth day!
Serve with crusty french bread to soak up all the yummy broth.

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