Brothy Beans & Greens with Grilled Bread

With little more than some aromatics and time (also: thyme), drab dried beans become tender and buttery in a richly flavored broth, complete with wilted bitter greens and grilled bread to top it all off. Dried beans are a pantry staple, but it can take some practice to cook them properly! This brothy beans and […]

The post Brothy Beans & Greens with Grilled Bread first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

With little more than some aromatics and time (also: thyme), drab dried beans become tender and buttery in a richly flavored broth, complete with wilted bitter greens and grilled bread to top it all off.

Dried beans are a pantry staple, but it can take some practice to cook them properly! This brothy beans and greens recipe is our favorite method, resulting in a rich bean broth that’s surprisingly full of flavor. Serve with slices of toasted crusty bread for the perfect meal!

Two charcoal gray bowls with brothy white beans and wilted kale, with slices of grilled sourdough bread

2020 was undeniably the Year of the Bean.

Dried beans were not something we cooked with any regularity before last year. We honestly had no clue what we were doing in the beginning, and the first few batches surely reflected that (mmm crunchy beans).

Surprisingly, now that we have a bit more experience with them, we’ve been pleasantly surprised at just how good a properly-cooked pot of beans can be. Easily as satisfying as a good plate of pasta, and significantly healthier at that.

We’ve made probably made these brothy beans and greens, or something similar, at least a dozen times in the past year, and every single time it turns out different. So finally, after enjoying yet another soul-satisfying bowl of brothy beans, we decided to start writing things down and fine-tuning our favorite aromatics and additions so we could share it here with you.

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Homemade Everything Crackers

Ultra thin and crispy crackers topped with a homemade everything bagel seasoning blend that’ll have your tastebuds demanding more. Homemade crackers are the ultimate snack, and these ultra-crispy, everything bagel-inspired delights are no exception. Top them with a smear of cream cheese and a dollop of pepper jelly or a slice of smoked salmon for […]

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Ultra thin and crispy crackers topped with a homemade everything bagel seasoning blend that’ll have your tastebuds demanding more.

Homemade crackers are the ultimate snack, and these ultra-crispy, everything bagel-inspired delights are no exception. Top them with a smear of cream cheese and a dollop of pepper jelly or a slice of smoked salmon for a truly delectable combination!

Broken pieces of Homemade Everything Crackers with small bowl of everything spice.

With this year’s bread baking boom it’s no surprise that my most popular recipe of the year was these homemade sourdough crackers. I regularly get tagged in Instagram posts and stories when folks make the crackers, using all manner of creative seasoning combinations. (Also, can I just say that seeing folks making my recipes is by far the best part of this job, it makes me smile every time!!)

I’ve been wanting to do a non-sourdough version of these crackers for some time now. If you think about it, sourdough starter is just equal parts flour and water, so converting the recipe is just a matter of some simple math.

You’ll definitely notice a difference in flavor if you compared the sourdough vs non-sourdough crackers directly. The sourdough ones taste distinctly like wheat thins to me (weird, but true), regular crackers rely more on the seasoning and mix-ins for flavor. Still, they’re no less delicious.

Stack of unbroken Everything crackers on a wire rack

These homemade crackers are ridiculously simple, made with little more than flour, water, and olive oil (I also added a bit of honey to give them that subtle bagel-like sweetness, barley malt syrup would be lovely as well). After a brief respite, they are then rolled super thin (pasta roller FTW), topped with a generous layer of everything bagel seasoning, and baked to crispy perfection.

If you did want to use some leftover sourdough discard, simply replace and equal amount of flour and water with your 100% hydration starter (for example, if you have 100g of starter, replace 50g of flour and 50g of water). And yes, a digital scale makes all this math so much easier (in case you’re stymied by the weird flour measurements in the recipe, just use a scale please).

You can ultimately season the crackers with whatever spices you like (I used herbs de provence in the original recipe, za’atar is also a popular option a lot of folks rave about). Here I oped to go for everything, mixing up my own everything bagel blend.

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Split Pea Soup

There are few things more comforting than a bowl of this thick and hearty split pea soup, rich and velvety and topped with smokey bits of crisp bacon. Simple ingredient list, complex flavor. Flavored simply with bacon, onion, chicken broth and a smidge of thyme, you’ll be surprised at the sheer amount of flavor from […]

The post Split Pea Soup first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

There are few things more comforting than a bowl of this thick and hearty split pea soup, rich and velvety and topped with smokey bits of crisp bacon.

Simple ingredient list, complex flavor. Flavored simply with bacon, onion, chicken broth and a smidge of thyme, you’ll be surprised at the sheer amount of flavor from such a limited ingredient list.

Two big white mugs with Split Pea Soup, with blue napkin and spoons

Split pea soup is one of those recipes that gets a bad wrap. Or no wrap, actually, since it’s regularly overlooked and downright omitted from the soup lexicon in lieu of more ubiquitous options like chicken noodle and tomato the like. I mean, when was the last time you actually saw pea soup on a restaurant menu (when you weren’t driving through Buellton, California, that is)? Pea soup is more often used as a less-than-appetizing descriptor of thick, murky fog than actual soup.

I fully admit that split pea soup was so far outside my mind it was never something I even thought of until I found myself with a random bag of split peas, an impulse buy if you will (Get it? impulse? because peas are pulses? I’m so punny).

In reality, split pea soup is actually quite wonderful. There’s a reason this recipe has stood the test of time (and in fact, split pea soup or something quite like it, can be dated back to medieval Europe).

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Pasta e Fagioli

This rustic Italian pasta-and-bean soup is oh-so-satisfying on a cold day (but just as enjoyable on a warm one). Pasta e fagioli is an Italian pasta and bean stew with a tomato-based broth, small pasta, and white beans such as cannellini. It’s one of our favorite quick and easy dinner recipes, made with mostly pantry […]

The post Pasta e Fagioli first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

This rustic Italian pasta-and-bean soup is oh-so-satisfying on a cold day (but just as enjoyable on a warm one).

Pasta e fagioli is an Italian pasta and bean stew with a tomato-based broth, small pasta, and white beans such as cannellini. It’s one of our favorite quick and easy dinner recipes, made with mostly pantry ingredients you already have on hand.

White bowl with Pasta e Fagioli, topped with parmesan shavings and fresh parsley

When the stars make you drool, just like pasta fazool, that’s amore.

And in truth, this soup is most definitely a thing of true love.

Pasta e fagioli, or pasta and beans, is an Italian peasant soup made with (you guessed it) pasta and white beans. In the United States it is often called pasta fazool, like the song, fazool derived from the Neapolitan word for beans, fasule.

Whatever you call it, there’s no denying it is incredibly hearty and delicious.

Blue Dutch Oven with Pasta e Fagioli soup and silver ladle

The variations of such a dish are myriad, some more soupy, some more saucy, some with nary a tomato in sight.

I imagine Italian grannies everywhere each have their own signature version, with the only common thread between them being the presence of pasta and beans in some form or another.

Our version is most definitely a tomato-centric soup, hearty and flavorful with the addition of Italian sausage and fresh fennel. We also like to mash some of the beans, which add a lovely thickness and silky texture to the broth.

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Vegetarian Pumpkin & Three-Bean Chili

This robustly flavored vegetarian chili features three kinds of beans and pumpkin puree for a luxurious texture and fabulous fall flavor. So good you won’t miss the meat! Here’s a hearty fall recipe for you, full of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry! Just because it’s vegetarian doesn’t mean it’s bland, as this […]

This robustly flavored vegetarian chili features three kinds of beans and pumpkin puree for a luxurious texture and fabulous fall flavor. So good you won’t miss the meat!

Here’s a hearty fall recipe for you, full of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry! Just because it’s vegetarian doesn’t mean it’s bland, as this chili proves.

Two white bowls of Vegetarian Pumpkin & Three-Bean Chili topped with cheese, sour cream and micro cilantro

It’s that time of year.

The temperatures are dropping. The markets are heaped with pumpkins. Your pantry is stocked with stacks of canned beans and tomatoes that you probably bought back in April and have since forgotten about (or maybe that’s just me?)

Needless to say, this hearty and healthy vegetarian chili is just what you’ve been craving this fall.

Overhead, two bowls of Vegetarian Pumpkin & Three-Bean Chili with tortilla chips and other toppings

Our first batch was simply a vegetarian three-bean chili, sans pumpkin. And while the flavor was spot on, the texture was a bit watery, which, for something like chili, isn’t ideal. At least in my mind I always imagine a thick and hearty stew, so we made our notes and shelved the recipe for another day.

The next time around, inspired by a windfall of three giant cans of canned pumpkin from Costco (and a little push from our devoted facebook group), we decided to add pumpkin puree to give the soup some added body and richness; it makes for a luxurious texture, with just a hint of sweetness and subtle pumpkin flavor (don’t worry, this is by no means pumpkin spice chili… because that would be taking things entirely too far.)

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Black Bean Soup

Well soup de doo, would you look at that luscious black bean soup! Not to mention it’s naturally vegetarian and gluten free (vegan too if you skip the dairy-based toppings!) Starting with dried black beans produces a robust bean stock that is then pureed with the cooked beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, and other aromatics for a […]

Well soup de doo, would you look at that luscious black bean soup! Not to mention it’s naturally vegetarian and gluten free (vegan too if you skip the dairy-based toppings!)

Starting with dried black beans produces a robust bean stock that is then pureed with the cooked beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, and other aromatics for a thick and creamy soup without the need for additional stock.

Black bean soup in a bowl with bowls of toppings and spoons on the side.

I know, I know, it’s still like 800 degrees outside, but that doesn’t mean fall isn’t on my mind (and fall, of course, means soup). Clearly I don’t have an issue with enjoying soup for dinner during the summer months, and this recipe is no exception.

Made using dried black beans, this soup is thick and creamy and super satisfying. All that protein inherent in black beans makes for a hearty and filling soup that’s a satisfying meal in its own right.

Black Bean Soup in a ceramic bowl topped with cilantro microgreens

When topped with melty cheese and sour cream, it could also be called bean dip soup which really describes it perfectly. I love to eat it alongside a bowl of salty corn tortilla chips, adding an element of crunch to the otherwise smooth consistency.

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Pasta e Ceci (Pasta and Chickpea Stew)

Falling somewhere between a brothy stew and a saucy tomato pasta dish, Pasta e Ceci (pasta and chickpeas) is Italian comfort food at its finest. With a tomato based broth, chickpeas, ditalini pasta, and wilted escarole, this one-pot vegetarian stew is a hearty and satisfying meal in and of itself. Don’t forget to top it […]

Falling somewhere between a brothy stew and a saucy tomato pasta dish, Pasta e Ceci (pasta and chickpeas) is Italian comfort food at its finest.

With a tomato based broth, chickpeas, ditalini pasta, and wilted escarole, this one-pot vegetarian stew is a hearty and satisfying meal in and of itself. Don’t forget to top it with a pile of shaved pecorino cheese!

Ceramic bowl with pasta and chickpea stew on a ceramic plate with two spoons and a napkin.

Look, I know it’s officially summer and here I am posting a hearty stew recipe. We’ve been making this pasta e ceci stew or variations of it since March to use up all those canned beans in our pantry, and have finally perfected it to a point where it’s too good not to share. And who says you can’t eat stew in the summer? I mean, I certainly enjoy a nice scoop of ice cream no matter how cold it is, so why should hot stew be any different?

This classic Roman recipe falls somewhere in between a stew and a saucy tomato pasta, with a thick, saucy broth and satisfying bites of ditalini pasta and protein-rich chickpeas.

Overhead view of ceramic bowl with pasta e ceci stew and two spoons

While the roots of this recipe can be traced to a Roman peasant dish, there are myriad variations out there, the only thing they have in common is that they all have pasta and chickpeas (obviously). Some versions are more soup-like, some more tomato-heavy than others, and some feature heartier additions like greens or meat.

We loosely based our version on this recipe from Colu Henry (her book, Back Pocket Pasta, is one of our all-time favorite cookbooks).

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Whipped Almond Dip with Pickled Beets & Sourdough

Believe it or not, this creamy whipped almond dip is entirely vegan, and made with ingredients you already have in your pantry! A perfect starter or light lunch, we served this whipped almond dip with pickled beets and slices of fresh sourdough bread (but feel free to treat it like you would hummus, paired with […]

Believe it or not, this creamy whipped almond dip is entirely vegan, and made with ingredients you already have in your pantry!

A perfect starter or light lunch, we served this whipped almond dip with pickled beets and slices of fresh sourdough bread (but feel free to treat it like you would hummus, paired with fresh vegetables, soft pita, or even crispy chickpeas).

White bowl with whipped almond dip, topped with pickled beets and two slices of fresh sourdough.

This recipe was inspired by a dish we had in Sydney, Australia this past fall. On our last night there, we randomly found ourselves in an adorable restaurant down the street from our apartment called Dead Ringer.

One dish on the menu that immediately grabbed our attention was an appetizer of creamed almonds with beets and housemade sourdough. I’m a sucker for anything with beets, and so we ordered it not really knowing what exactly ‘creamed almonds’ would be.

Spreading whipped almond dip on a slice of fresh sourdough bread

Turns out creamed almonds are downright magical. Somehow, without any cream or dairy whatsoever, the almonds whip up into a creamy, fluffy dip with a texture falling somewhere in between hummus and whipped ricotta. With little more than a splash of lemon juice, a glug of olive oil and a garlic clove, it’s surprising just how flavorful this dip is.

In an effort to recreate the original as closely as possible, we topped ours with a drizzle of olive oil, pickled beets, fresh dill and and homemade sourdough.

The pretty pink powder is actually a mix of beet powder and sumac, which gives the dip a tart lemony twist (the beet powder is mainly for looks, so feel free to leave it out, though I’d argue the sumac is not optional since it adds so much flavor).

We realized after the fact that we forgot the black sesame seeds, which would have added another level of visual interest. Next time! (because we will certainly be making this again!)

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