1/2 lb dried cranberry beans
2 1/2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/8 tsp turmeric
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 plum tomato, choppe
1 serrano chile, seeds removed and chopped
1 1/2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
2 Tbs chopped cilantro
1. Pick through the beans and rinse under cold water. Soak the beans overnight.
2. Drain and rinse the beans.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the dried spices, bay leaf, garlic, tomato and green chile. Fry for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the beans and 4 cups of broth to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the beans are tender, about 60 to 90 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Remove a cup of the beans and set aside. Purée the soup in the pot with an immersion blender. If using a blender, let the soup cool a bit before processing it, taking small amounts at a time. Return the whole beans to the pot. Stir and reheat the soup. Add more broth a half cup at a time, as needed, to obtain the desired consistency for the soup. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Add more salt if needed.
Cranberry beans are one of the most underutilized beans in the U. S. Also called borlotti beans, they are very popular in Italian cuisine for their mild, creamy and nutty flavor. Cranberry Bean Soup makes a fantastic main dish for lunch or dinner on a cold day along with a few pappads or a hot, fresh paratha. It is also a great starter for any meal.