Hearty Vegan Stew and Beautiful Music

September 11, 2009

I got home from work early on this rainy day in Jackson Heights, Queens and after pouring myself a drink (1oz gin, tonic, splash of lemon, splash of simple syrup – over ice), I put on some recently discovered folk music by a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice.

We were lucky to happen upon her playing live at our friend Jeremiah’s music space at the end of August. If you get a chance, check out Sharon Van Etten.  This video is incredible – For You.

sharon van etten

Then!  I remembered that I offered to make some dinner for our good friend, David if he was feeling like making it out to our house.  I freaked out because we hadn’t done any grocery shopping since before the Labor Day weekend.  I had no chicken (his favorite) and there was no way in hell I was going back out in this rain to the grocery.

Knowing that my lovely boy loves beans as well, I did a quick internet search and realized I had all the ingredients to make a hearty soup already in my kitchen.  No grocery trip needed!  Well, except that I got the drummer to stop and get a baguette…

I will of course, need to step out in the rainy morning to get my ever-growing grocery list items tomorrow however. Yes, David, I will make you Purple Chicken soon enough! (You can watch us eating it for the second time here.)

David didn’t end up making it out to our house, but since I love him, I’ll probably try to keep a portion for him anyway.  

White Bean, Spinach & Barley Soup

White Bean, Spinach & Barley Soup

White Bean, Spinach & Barley Soup
(serves 6-8)

-2-3 TB olive oil
-1 large white onion, chopped
-6 cloves garlic, minced
-1 serrano chile (or other chile), minced (optional)
-1/2 cup white wine
-1 cup roughly chopped carrots
-1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
-5 cups broth
-2-3 TB dried thyme and/or rosemary (I grind it to a powder, but that’s optional.)
-1 tsp. coriander powder -1 can white beans, rinsed.
-1 28oz can chopped tomatoes -1-2 cups spinach (frozen OK) black pepper

1. In large dutch oven or pot (that has a cover), saute onion, garlic and chile in the olive oil over medium heat.

2. Add dried thyme or rosemary and coriander. Saute for 5-7 minutes and then add wine. Allow to cook for a few minutes, stirring.

3. Add carrots, sprinkle a tsp or so of black pepper and mix to combine.

4. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.

5. Add barley, beans, tomatoes and broth. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.

6. When boiling, cover and set heat to very low.

7. Cook for at least 45 minutes, but up to an hour and 1/2 to really combine the flavors.  Stir from time to time to prevent sticking.

8. Add spinach, stir through, cover and cook for 10- 15 more minutes.

Serve with crusty bread, a glass of wine and enjoy with a talented poet/drummer.

(loosely based on this recipe:  http://bit.ly/sOaSk with more garlic and a much longer cooking time.)

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2 Responses to “Hearty Vegan Stew and Beautiful Music”

  1. rickard Says:

    That was a nice little tune. And a cool video too. I’ll check her out more, thanks!


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