Monday, January 18, 2010

Lobios Chorba, Georgian Red Bean Soup

A few weeks ago we promised I and Y to treat them to a birthday dinner whenever they choose. Last Friday they took us up on the offer and we delivered a mezze feast consisting of no less than 15(!!) different dishes. It also gave us the opportunity to try out a large variety of new recipes.

The Lobios Chorba, is a hearty bean soup that is a bit tangy and is very good for a cold evening. Since we had many more courses to go, we served it in small coffee cups (not in the pictures).

We adapted this recipe from "The Georgian Feast" by  Darra Goldstein:

1 1/2 cups dried red beans
8 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 carrot. peeled and chopped
2 leeks, sliced thinly
3 tbsp butter
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 small minced hot pepper
ground black pepper
6 sprigs each of parsley, coriander and dill, minced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

The recipe:
Simmer the beans with water, bay leaf and 1 tsp salt on low heat until tender (about 2 hours).
Meanwhile, saute the onions, carrot and leeks in the butter until soft.
In a mortar and pestle pound the garlic with the remaining salt.
When the beans are soft add the sauteed vegetables, garlic, hot pepper and black pepper. Simmer for 15 more minutes, then stir in the minced herbs and vinegar and serve.

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