Alison's Lunch

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navy bean, pea, and leek soup with sauerkraut

navy bean, pea, and leek soup with sauerkraut

I can hear you asking me, “Sauerkraut soup??” You don’t have to add the sauerkraut—the soup is good with or without it. But if you like the tang of fresh sauerkraut, I really think you’ll love this recipe. Don’t be tempted to use the shelf-stable sauerkraut in the store—use the refrigerated kind (Bubbies, for example, or Claussen). This is a very simple recipe, as long as you have vegetable stock on hand. If you don’t, it’s easy enough to whip up some basic vegetable stock . It is an adaptation of a recipe in Peter Berley’s wonderful book The Flexitarian Table. It’s a warming winter soup that, because of the leeks and peas, anticipates spring!

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large leeks, about two cups, cleaned and thinly sliced, or minced onions to make up some or all of the leeks
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1-2 cups cooked navy beans (or other white beans) with their liquid, if home-cooked. Make sure the beans are nice and tender.
4 cups or more basic vegetable stock
1 pound green peas, fresh or frozen
½ to 1 cup fresh (refrigerated) sauerkraut, or thawed from frozen

1. Add the oil to a large saucepan and heat it over medium heat. Add the leeks and/or onions, mint and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook the leeks and onions until tender, 5 minutes or so.
2. Add the beans and four cups of bean cooking liquid and/or vegetables stock. Simmer for a few minutes to combine the flavors.
3. Add the peas and cook until the peas are tender—just a couple of minutes.
4. Add the sauerkraut at the last minute, as a garnish on top of each bowl of soup. Serve the soup with a drizzle of olive oil if you like, and pass more sauerkraut at the table.