This season I’ll be joining forces with local urban farmers, Green City Growers. Each month, Green City Growers will feature a new fruit or vegetable on their site, along with tips for growing and caring for it. I’ll bring that same fruit or vegetable into my kitchen and show you how to turn it into something delicious!
When I was growing up, bean soups were a staple on my mother’s table. They were a simple and affordable way to deliver vegetables, protein and delicious leftovers.
My mother’s bean soups were light and brothy with a slight creaminess from the beans that couldn’t hold their shape. As we were getting ready to eat, she would stir in a leafy green and then ladle the hot soup over a bowl of pasta. Then came a swirling glug of olive oil with her usual heavy hand. I’d answer her with a heavy hand of grated cheese.
Part of what made this meal so delicious was that it could be adapted for every season. Its silky, belly-warming richness was hearty enough for a winter meal, but with some spinach and fresh parsley—or even tomatoes and fresh basil—pasta e fagioli could just as easily represent the spring and summer months.
Now that it’s early spring in New England, we’re entering a brand-new growing season. We’ve got a long way to go before we can rely on fresh produce to fill our bellies. But in the meantime, there are a few plants popping out of the ground that can be perfect for marrying with our winter pantry staples….