Our family moved to Germany in September, so we have once again found ourselves adjusting to cooking what we can find in a new country.
It feels as though I had just gotten used to the grocery stores in Scotland, but now I am wandering stores where all the packaging is in another language.
I was super excited to find large white beans, because I am a big fan of hearty bean soups. Black Eyed Peas and Petit Jean Ham used to be a regular at our house, as well as French Lentil Soup. But lately we are enjoying a tomato and spinach broth with these butter beans.
I love a good vegetarian dish that is hearty enough to be dinner for a house full of boys!
- 2 cups of cooked butter beans or 2 cans of any large white beans
- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
- 1-2 large leeks, peeled and sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 12 ounces chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pour the olive oil into a medium sized frying pan and heat gently. Add the leeks and garlic cloves and fry over a gentle heat for five minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan along with about a cup of water. Cook for about 20 minutes. Add more water if needed. Serve hot with a splash of vinegar or tabasco sauce along with some crusty bread.
We are finding that there is good bread in abundance here in Germany so I have not been making it as often, but here’s a recipe for a simple wheat bread that I have used for years.
- 1 cup warm water (235 ml)
- 1 scant tablespoon yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 3/4 cups plain white flour (150 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (150 grams)
- Dissolve yeast in warm water.
- Add honey and salt.
- Combine flours in a separate bowl and mix loosely with a fork. Then stir into the yeast mixture and mix with a fork and hands until the dough comes together.
- Knead for about 5 minutes.
- Cover dough in oil and set aside, covered, to rise until doubled, for 45-60 minutes. (less if you set it near your simmering soup pot).
- Form dough into one large loaf or if you have a very fast baking tiny oven, form into three very small loaves. Place on parchment lined half sheet pan and allow to sit about 20 minutes.
- Cook at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until browned on top.
Alison Chino is a born and bred Arkansan who recently moved to Germany from Scotland, where she is learning to walk everywhere and to live with tiny appliances. She loves hiking with her husband and kids on the weekends. She blogs at the Chino House and she’s pretty much obsessed with Instagram.