Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hearty Orca Bean Soup

By: The Food Hunter

This time of year I often find myself craving the warmth and comfort that comes from a thick, hearty soup; so when I saw the bag of Bob's Red Mill Orca beans I knew right away what I was going to make.

The unique black and white hued Orca beans are a small, tasty, heirloom variety bean high in both fiber and iron. These beautiful beans retain their shape & color well when cooked and taste wonderfully in everything from soups, salads and stews.



It's impossible for me to describe just how good these beans are. I added them to a hearty Tuscan style soup with farro, which was flavored with pancetta. The creaminess of the beans and the saltiness of the pancetta blended perfectly. The soup is easy to make and elegant to eat. Serve it as a 1st course, or light lunch.


Hearty Orca Bean Soup
(printable recipe) 
1 1/4 cup dried orca beans
3/4 cup farro, quick cook
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz pancetta, cut into small dice
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4 leaves fresh sage, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Soak the beans in cold water for 8 hours or longer. Drain and discard the soaking water. Rinse under cold water and drain again.

In a 6-quart soup pot, combine the olive oil and pancetta and place over medium low heat. Cook, stirring, about 10 minutes, until the pancetta begins to brown. Stir in the carrot, celery, and garlic and continue cooking, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, farro, 8 cups cold water, and sage and raise the heat to medium high. When the water begins to boil, lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour, until the beans and farro are tender and the soup is thick.

Transfer about 1 cup of the soup to a blender or food processor. Process until smooth and return to the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste and continue cooking, about 15 minutes longer.

51 comments:

  1. I'm not the bean fan in the house but my wife likes black beans. My kids like Mr. Bean!

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  2. This soup looks perfect for fall! I think I have some beans left - will definitely give this a try.

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  3. I love good ol' pintos. I can use them in so many different things.

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  4. My fav is bean is fava. I love beans, all kinds, and my favorite soup is one with as many different beans as possible. This soup looks delish, I want to make it!

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  5. Not a big bean fan in general but pintos would be at the top of list.
    Sharylmk1@aol.com

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  6. I grew up eating kidney beans, simple but so comforting.

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  7. My favorite bean is the gabanzo bean as I can make hummus with it. It is also great toasted.

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  8. I have never tried Orca Beans...how unusual! I love all beans,but I guess I use black, pinto,and garbanzo beans most often.
    Mary Beth Elderton

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  9. My favorite beans are the black beans.

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  10. This soup sounds AMAZING!!! I am going to have to try it this winter!

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  11. I haven't seen these before, but they look perfect for the dish you created and so much more!

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  12. Black beans are my favorite bean of them all.

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  13. White navy beans are my favorite

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  14. Looks delicious and gluten free too!

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  15. I'm a big fan of black beans. I know that's so boring.

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  16. I love the looks of these beans! My favorite kind are white beans...cannolini. The soup looks great too!

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  17. Love a good bean soup in the wintertime - even here in Florida! I couldn't possibly come up with one favorite bean - they're all wonderful in their own ways. :-)

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  18. My favorite beans are garbanzo beans!

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  19. Tuscan style soups are a personal favorite. I love the heartiness and the herbs often used. This looks like something I could just sit and eat and eat!

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  20. I really love kidney beans!!! I dont cook with them enough, but would love to find some new recipes for them!

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  21. A couple of weeks ago I took my kids on a factory tour at Bob's Red Mill it was awesome. We learned about the Orca beans and they made it our dinner table last night. They are so delicious. ~ Bea @ The Not So Cheesy Kitchen

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  22. I've never seen Orca beans before. They're beautiful. Soup sounds delicious.

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  23. What a fun giveaway! And the soup looks amazing. My favorite bean is pinto... but I love trying new kinds all the time. :)

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  24. I'd say my favourite bean is black beans, but they're hard to get here. After that, probably lentils, so versatile!

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  25. i like white navy beans - so creamy :)

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  26. Lovely looking soup and fabulous giveaway!

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  27. I have never cooked with ocra beans before, but the soup looks delicious!

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  28. I have never heard of ocra beans before! At first I thought it said okra...haha.

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  29. Great looking soup! I have never heard of these beens before. Will have to look for them. :)

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  30. Love the use of pancetta. This looks similar to the ham hock soups my mom made growing up. Delicious!!

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  31. This soup is calling my name. Love the beans and farro together!
    Renee - Kudos Kitchen

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  32. Never checked out orca beans but this soup looks totally divine - perfect for a snowy day.

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  33. Hands down my favorite type of beans are light red kidney beans! We also love to put farro into our soups!

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  34. Love beans so hard to pick one but I guess Great Northern, Pintos and White Kidney are three of my faves.

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  35. This looks like an amazing soup! Can't wait to try it.

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  36. black beans
    spgoddess55(at)msn(dot)com

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  37. I had never heard of orca beans but when I read your description, the lightbulb went on! :-) I love this recipe and think it is perfect for this time of year.

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  38. Black beans are my favorite, but now I really want to try orca beans!

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  39. I love great northern white beans.

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  40. I like to use canellini and great northern beans to make my favorite soup.

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  41. I've really started liking black beans a whole lot more since I discovered an awesome recipe for black bean burgers from The Food Lab on the Serious Eats website.

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  42. I like black beans. I would like to try them in burgers. I never had the black bean burger but heard they are good.

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  43. Thank you! I look forward to making this soup.

    bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

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  44. I'm a huge bean and legume fan so finding a new bean to try is awesome.

    Thanks for sharing with friends at Living a Life of Fitness Health and Happiness!

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