Green bean and almond soup from Rose Bakery

Well, you may be getting sick of hearing about books here at The Teacup Chronicles (is that really possible?), but I’ve another book to tell you about – though this one is a cookbook rather than an herbal one, and you will get a delicious recipe out of the deal to boot.  I have to admit that if there is one class of books that rivals my attention for herb and plant literature, it is the mighty cookbook. Those who know me will attest that my love of cookbooks borders nearly on obsession. I’ve so many that I hardly have enough space to fit them in the kitchen, and still there are always more lurking on the horizon, waiting patiently in saved amazon shopping carts for the blissful day when I can click on “buy now” and bring them home.  I’ve even developed the endearing (though my husband might say aggravating) quality of giving each cookbook a name, as in “Skye has a wonderful recipe for a cauliflower soup,” or “Nigel says that black olives work better for this dish.” My husband always turns round with a confused, “who?” before he remembers that I am partially insane, and continues on with his task.

So you can imagine with my borderline pathological obsession with cookbooks, that I should find great happiness at discovering 101cookbooks.com – a blog/website that I’m sure many of you have heard of and love as dearly as I do. She posts recipes each week from her beloved collection, adding in her personal touches and slight alterations to the recipes to make them her own (and she has an amazing cookbook collection to choose from, so you can imagine how delicious each recipe is!) But the most exciting thing, which you must must MUST check out, is that she has started an online cookbook “library” of sorts, where people can post and review their favorite cookbooks, share recipes, etc. This is a cookbook lover’s paradise if ever there was one.

As part of her cookbook library, she has also started selecting a “book of the month” style selection, which encourages people to cook, review, share and write about the same cookbook for a month or two. When I saw that this month’s choice was Breakfast, Lunch and Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery (or Rose, as I call her…), well, how could I not participate! This cookbook is one of my most cherished, most favorite, most well-used cookbooks of all – the perfect blend of French panache and English comfort. You can find other recipes inspired by this book on my blog, such as this one for gingerbread, and this for a lovely savory tart.

The recipe I’m choosing to share with you first is one that has caught my eye many times when flipping through, but lacks the sort of catchy name or unexpected ingredient/ spice combinations that usually lead me to add a recipe to the weekly queue. But as in many instances of this kind, the humble ingredients and plain name disguised a truly exceptional soup. The almonds give it an exquisite creaminess that pairs so nicely with the simple larder of ingredients. I’ve added some greenery (parsley and dark leafies) to spruce it up nutritionally and roasted garlic, to give it an added depth of flavor – and left it chunky rather than completely pureed. In short, this is a perfect thing to nourish your spirits on these sloppy, snowy/sleety March days.

Green Bean and Almond Soup

I realize this isn’t exactly green bean season, so feel free to substitute another more seasonal vegetable or leave them out altogether if you wish.

  • A few good spoonfuls of fat (butter, olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, etc)
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 small head of garlic (10-12 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 3 large handfuls green beans, trimmed
  • 1 bunch dark leafy greens (kale, collards, etc)
  • 1 quart vegetable stock (or enough to cover the vegetables by an inch)
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • Lemon wedges and olive oil for serving

Split the head of garlic into individual cloves, and peel them. Toss the peeled cloves in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, then place on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast for 10-15 minutes, or until softened and slightly browned.

Meanwhile, heat the fat in a saucepan, and add your onions, celery and carrots over a low heat, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, cooking until the vegetables have softened and are beginning to golden in color.

Add the beans and stir well for about 5 minutes, then add your stock. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

Add the ground almonds to the soup, stirring well. When the soup has cooled slightly, transfer a third of the soup to a food processor or blender along with the roasted garlic, and process until smooth.

Add the blended soup back into the pot along with the greens, and heat until the greens begin to soften and turn bright green. Season well. Serve in bowls with a generous sprinkling of parsley, a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil if you wish.

Comments

  1. “Well, you may be getting sick of hearing about books here at The Teacup Chronicles (is that really possible?)” Ha! No, not possible…absolutely down to the cellular level not possible. Now on to read your article. 🙂

  2. Aaaah, good thing we can’t go to each other’s houses. I know I’d reach debt-point. My cookbooks have spilled out into all rooms of the apartment. I love them. How delightful that you’ve named yours. 🙂 Recently I received as gifts, no guilt, two glorious doozies – aka hardcover tomes, from my dear husband – Around my French Table – Dorie Greenspan – do you have it? and also From Harvest to Heat, a farm market cookbook. Both delightful and gorgeous with completely make-able recipes.

    Question of the day – “if the lights suddenly went out in your house could you make it to the flashlight without wiping out on a stack of books?”

    • Danielle Charles says:

      Oh dear, I don’t have either of those! Guess I’ll have to add them to my list as they both look delightful 🙂 Good question of the day, and the answer is likely not, if my cats or boxes of herbs didn’t trip me first!

      Glad to hear you aren’t sick of the book posts 🙂

      D

      • Please keep them coming. 🙂 I wanted to try the soup tonight but the sting beans looked crummy, even by out of season standards, so I’ll try later this week when they get more.

  3. This looks delicious! I rarely cook with ground almonds, apart from one staple curry recipe, yet I like them so much. I’m definitely going to be making this at the end of the week. The half chunky/ half smooth texture makes it look so creamy yet hearty. And kale is just about my favourite veg, after broccoli, of all time.
    Thanks for the inspiration xxx

    • Danielle Charles says:

      I was so surprised at how creamy the almonds made the soup – I kept accusing my hubby of sneaking cream in when I wasn’t looking! Yay for brassicas, they are so SO yummy.

      XOXO D

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