This time of the year, the pickin's are still pretty slim at the market and in the garden. It's been hot, mostly, and dry. Fall seedlings planted in early October are not quite ready - so you see sweet potatoes and peppers... and not much else.
Our cafe menus reflect the situation. More beans, less veggies... even the muscadine grape harvest has ended. While the farmers at the market assure us that the bountiful fall harvest will begin in 4 - 6 weeks, we are digging into the back of the recipe box for hardy soup that's heavy on the dried bean. Baked Bean Soup is a favorite.
2 cups chopped onions
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped green peppers
1 cup chopped, peeled sweet potato
2 Tbsp. chili powder
4 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 cups water
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups white pea beans (about 1/2 cup dried, soaked overnight and boiled till soft)
2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 Tbsp. molasses
salt to taste
Saute onions in olive oil till transparent. Add chopped green peppers and sweet potatoes, sprinkle with chile powder and stir in oil for a minute or two. Add water, mustard, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Add beans, vinegar, and molasses. Salt to taste. Serve with grated cheese if desired.
We served ours with oat-flax bread and our own variation of Boston brown bread (and the last of the muscadines...).