Yellow eye beans have a neutral yet earthy flavor when cooked, making them a natural for chowder. Sage has a warming flavor that pairs beautifully with any sweet vegetable. Add smoky chicken or turkey to make a hearty soup that is perfect for cold-weather eating.
Serve this soup with your favorite artisan bread and a salad of beets, oranges and spinach.
Be sure to reserve the beans' soaking liquid, as it is included in this recipe.
Servings: 6 - 8
- 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 ribs celery, trimmed and finely chopped
- 3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 pound yellow eye beans, soaked (see related TIPS on soaking and cooking)
- 2 small dark-orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, cut into 1/3-inch dice (about 3 cups)
- 8 ounces smoked turkey or chicken, shredded
- 2 to 3 sage leaves, minced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic; cook for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and fragrant. Add the beans and their soaking liquid, plus enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low or low, cover partially and cook for about 1 hour, until the beans are just starting to soften but are still fairly firm.
Add the sweet potatoes, smoked turkey or chicken and the sage; season with salt and pepper to taste, stirring to combine. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, with the chowder barely bubbling at the edges. The beans should be tender but not falling apart. Ladle the chowder into individual warmed bowls. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve hot.
Adapted from "Heirloom Beans, " by Steve Sando and Vanessa Barrington (Chronicle, 2008).
Tested by Frances Stead Sellers.
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