Thursday, July 1, 2010

White Bean & Potato Broth w/ Mixed Greens, Thyme, and Lemon

One-bowl meals are popular at our place…to be precise, they are my significant other’s favorite type of meal.  And, while I tend to prefer plated meals that consist of several distinct foods, I think he’s on to something there.  Soups, stews, curries…anything that lends itself to combining veggies, legumes, and other goodies into one pot usually makes a quick and satisfying meal…not mention easy cleanup.

I picked up some beautiful braising greens recently, and with the addition of some yellow potatoes, cannellini beans and a few other elements, this made a simple one-bowl meal. It's very basic and nothing special I know, but it turned out  tasty and rustic-looking so I thought I might as well post it.

I think the key to making this nice and savory is to let the broth simmer for a while before adding in the main vegetables.  If I don't have any homemade broth stored in the freezer, I like to use Seitenbacher Veggie Broth;  it contains a really nice combination of  nutritional yeast, dried veggies, and herbs including turmeric root, lovage, nutmeg and paprika, among others. In it's simplicity, it makes a really tasty broth and/or seasoning.

Serves 4
1 large leek, sliced into thin rounds (2 cups sliced)
3-4 cloves garlic, slightly crushed but left whole
2 ribs of celery, chopped
8 cups water (I went with 4 cups veggie broth and 4 cups plain water)
pinch of red chili flakes
smattering of dried oregano
olive oil for sauteeing (or whatever you prefer to saute with) 

10 -12 medium-sized yellow potatoes, cut into quarters
large bunch of mixed greens/greens of choice (~ 1 pound's worth)
2 cups pre-cooked cannellini beans
lemon wedges
fresh thyme

Saute the leek, garlic, and celery until they become tender and aromatic...(I added a pinch of red chili pepper and some oregano too). Add the veggie broth/water and allow to simmer gently until the leek, garlic, and celery have infused nicely into the broth...this could be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Then add the potatoes and continue to simmer until the potatoes are tender. Depending on the volume of your potatoes and how much the broth has cooked may have to adjust the amount of  water. A few minutes before serving, add the greens and the beans. Serve with fresh lemon and thyme.

Along with a salad freshly picked from the garden it makes a pleasant seasonal meal.

But wait...there's more! I was delighted when I saw some organic blackcap raspberries at the local co-op. I was thinking of giving them a post all their own...but I didn't do anything special with them...we just ate them plain. And, that's all you need to do. They are my favorite summer berry: a tart edge over a deep raspberry flavor...truly delicious and perfect just the way they are.


  1. What a gorgeous meal--thanks for posting it!!

  2. Tiny little Thyme flowers! The first pic belongs on the cover of a magazine. Truly.

  3. Simple yet good, just the way I like it. I missed your photos and recipes. Glad you posted one again. :-) I agree with S.V., your photos really showcase your food beautifully.

  4. What a pretty dish! I have some thyme growing in my front yard, but I have not used it for anything yet. Those blackcap raspberries look delicious! What was the flavor like?

  5. Stacy,

    Thanks, it's simple but tasty.


    I love thyme flowers; they are so petite and pretty. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement about the pics.


    I was thinking of you when I posted this, because we had discussed that both our husbands liked their food simple and quick from pot to plate. Thanks for the encouragement on the took me ages to figure out that you can't beat natural light for better results in the photos.


    I don't use thyme too terribly much either, but it does tend to finish of certain dishes really well. To me, the black raspberries have a deeper, richer, and slightly less acidic flavor than the red/golden varieties. These grow wild too, but I haven't been lucky enough to find a patch of them yet.

    To all:

    Have a great weekend!

  6. Ah, yes, as mine probably thinks - the better to scoop up all the ingredients at once! Better time management and all, while eating. And, I'll have to give natural lighting a try; I've never thought of that. I always think, brightness, glare, glare, glare! But, I've got a few shots in the qeue (how do you spell that?), so I'll have to post those first. :-)

  7. BlessedMama,

    Must be sort of a "guy" any rate...looking forward to your future pics.

  8. This is all so beautiful, Rose. I love the different kinds of greens! And I love one-dish meals, especially when you can put them together as artistically as you have done.

  9. Zoa,

    You're too kind; it is simple, but I admittedly, I was sort of charmed at how it plated up. BTW, I'm making a version of the spanakopita you posted about last smells really yummy, can't wait to tuck in!

    Have a good weekend...I hope you were able to "make the bridge" between the national holiday there on Thursday and the weekend. :)

  10. hi! i have never heard of those, blackcap raspberries, but they look good! what does "braising" mean? your soup is the most perfect light summer soup ive ever seen, i love that broth recipe.

  11. The shades of those leaves are stunning. Liking how it all looks on the plate. And I can only imagine the different flavours and textures.

    Those blackcap raspberries have got me interested.

  12. Hi Michelle,

    The black raspberries are very good...if you can find any, try them for sure. Braising is when you saute something to sort of brown it off and then cook it slowly afterwards in some liquid...I called then braising greens because that was how they were labeled at Whole Foods....I guess they want people to braise them (?) But it's just a mix of greens: kale, chard, escarole lettuce and the like.

    Hi Mangocheeks,

    Stunning is a perfect word for those greens...I almost like to look at them as much as eat them. The blackcap raspberries grow wild in the Western US, esp in the coastal states, and I think it's fairly recent for them to be cultivated in any large scale way and brought to market. They grow readily here in the cool Pacific Northwest...maybe you have some similar variety in Scotland.

  13. My husband would so love this! Yum!
    Blessings, Debra
    Vegan Diet Video
    My Blog

  14. Just a note: the comments moderation on Blogger is glitchy today (July 6) if you've posted a comment and it doesn't publish...please know that I did try to publish it! I've been seeing many other bloggers having similar complaints today. :)

  15. My husband is partial to one-pot meals, too. Your soup is beautiful, and exactly the kind of food I prefer eating — simple but full of flavor.

    Now I'm going to look up black caps and find out exactly what they are!

  16. Andrea,

    I think you all (you, your hubby, and my hubby) are definitely on to a winning idea...why complicate things?

    The black caps are great...they grow in Western US, so I'm not sure whether you have them in Wisconsin, but if you do run across them at some point,don't pass up the opportunity to give them a try.


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