Peruano Bean & Orzo Soup

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In case you couldn’t tell, I love orzo. It’s so fun, I can easily find it in bulk, and it can be made into a variety of dishes.

Here, I’ve cooked up yet another variation of pasta and beans. True love!

I started this soup off with the typical mirepoix which is onion, celery, and carrot. I know those vegetables aren’t deemed exotic or glamorous, but dang they are delicious and staples for a reason.

In an effort to reduce waste, I typically use an entire onion anytime I cook with onion. I also chopped up a few carrots and a few stalks of celery, including the leaves.

From there, I just built up the soup adding homemade bouillon, water, cooked Peruano beans, and nearing the end, orzo. It’s honestly that easy to have a simple, delicious dinner. This is easily vegan, just start with oil, which is what I did, or you can start with butter if you prefer that taste.

All this soup needed was some salt and pepper and a big, hearty slice of homemade sourdough bread to accompany it.

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I hope to soon share yet another pasta + bean “recipe” for you!

Peace and love,

Kristan

Rice and Beans: simple and sustainable

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A simple dish of rice and beans.

The details are: the beans are Peruano, soaked overnight, cooked with the ends of an onion and the ends of two carrots, plus two bay leaves, and about two teaspoons of salt.

The rice is long grain rice, tossed and heated in some olive oil, then cooked with water, and sprinkled with the juice of a fresh lime and cilantro.

The combination is delightful, especially with some added cumin, salt, and pepper.

All ingredients were bought in bulk or sans packaging, which is exactly what I want from every meal for the remainder of my life. Sadly, that is probably not going to happen.

My husband and I met up with his grandmother so she could see him for his birthday. We met at a Mexican restaurant + grocery store that has tasty food, but it seemed impossible to avoid the plastic cups the salsas came in, plus an unexpected plastic spoon in each of the bean dishes. It was disappointing and I found myself more stressed out about the waste and forcing myself to enjoy my meatless tacos.

I want to be able to ask for the things that are better for the environment, but I don’t want to appear that I am pushing my ideals and morals onto others; especially at a place that traditionally employs and serves an underrepresented and oftentimes disrespected minority population in my town.

So, I didn’t request anything special, except no meat on my tacos.

But this gave me resolve to make even more food at home, cook from ingredients that I know are less wasteful, do not torture animals, and give fair pay for fair work.

This long weekend has been a good representation of that desire. I have made ginger beer, sourdough bread, sourdough starter waffles, harissa white bean stew, lacto-fermented mustard, mayonnaise with my own hen’s egg, rice and beans, and I’m about to make sourdough crackers, tortillas, and feta. I have also sewn a bento bag, sewn up some bean bags from school that were broken, and am currently working on an apron to wear at school to hold all my important flash cards because my students cannot afford to never not be learning in this climate.

Peace and love,

Kristan