The adventures of the CSA share continue! This is our week 8 share and the eggplant, zucchini, and cucumbers are in full swing. If you need some zucchini inspiration, check out my stuffed zucchini boat recipe from last week. There are also some new items this week, and that’s my focus here: corn, green peppers, and flat (romano beans)! And this is what makes taking part in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program so great – finding surprise ingredients that your local supermarket may not carry, and figuring our what to do with them.
The credit for this soup goes entirely to my 7 year old who suggested we use flat beans for a soup, add corn to it, plus one tablespoon each of dried dill, dried basil and onion powder. Oh, and garlic and vegetable broth! Then I stepped in with some carrots, bay leaves, and green pepper (also courtesy of the CSA share this week). The rest is history and the recipe below!
What are flat beans?
Before we dive into cooking, let me just share what flat beans are. I don’t think I ran into them before, and I am guessing many of you are in the same boat! These beans are also known as romano beans, and also Italian flat green beans. They are similar to green beans, but much broader – about one inch (2.5 cm) or so, and they are quite long too. They have a good bite to them, although my seven year old helper did not like their taste when raw. These beans are meaty and that’s another reason why putting them into a stew or a hearty soup makes a lot of sense as they need a bit of time to cook, and I don’t think steaming them would work. So, if you like to try a green bean variety with a bit more meat and bite to it, these are a great option.
Super Summer Soup with Italian Flat Beans
What you’ll need:
1 lbs (about 500 g) flat beans (romano beans), trimmed and cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces
2 cups grilled corn, just kernels (frozen or canned whole kernel corn would work too!)
2 large carrots, chopped very finely using a food processor
1 green pepper, diced to small pieces
4 cups (about 1 L) vegetable broth
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or crushed
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried dill
1 tablespoon dried basil
4 dried bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
Squeeze of lemon for serving (optional)
What you’ll do:
- Place a large pot over the medium-high heat. Add oil then garlic and let the garlic brown just slightly for 1-2 minutes.
- Next, add diced green peppers and sauté for 2-3 minutes, with occasional stirring.
- Add finely chopped carrots, mix well and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- When the peppers have softened and the carrot pulp starts to brown, add the beans, corn and all the spices and sauté for another 5 minutes, then pour in the vegetable stock, bring to boil, lower the heat to simmer, put the lid on and leave it for 15 minutes.
- Serve this soup as a light supper, lunch, or pair with a salad and some bread for a meal!
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