Two Bean Tomato Bisque
- my mother’s original recipe for cold winter evenings; hearty beans and warm spices in a rich, silky tomato gravy finished with a little cream and fresh herbs
by priti malhotra
10-12 cashews (soaked overnight or for at least 3-4 hours)
1 small stick cinnamon (soaked with the cashews)
3 cloves (soaked with the cashews)
1/2 red onion peeled and chopped roughly
1 big garlic clove peeled
1/4 inch ginger peeled
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 package/can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 package/can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cup tomato purée - I used Pomi
2 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup coconut creamer - I used one from Trader Joe’s
3 green cardamoms, seeded and finely ground
Flat leaf parsley, a few leaves finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper
Soak the cashews, cinnamon and the cloves overnight, or at least for 3-4 hours before you plan to start cooking.
In a food processor, combine the red onion, ginger, garlic, soaked cashews, cinnamon and cloves. Add a tablespoon or two of water if needed. Pulse well until it becomes a smooth paste.
Heat a dutch oven or a large heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of avocado oil. Gently fold in the onion mixture from the food processor. Add a teaspoon of salt, mix well and cook over medium high heat for about 15 minutes, stirring periodically. The onion and spice mix will turn a light brown color and the oil will start separating.
Lower the heat, add the tomato purée, and mix gently until well combined. Add another teaspoon of salt and let it cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Now add in the water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and cook for another 10 minutes, lifting the lid and stirring occasionally. Add another teaspoon of salt. Once it starts boiling and the tomato mixture starts thickening, remove the lid, add the cayenne pepper and another teaspoon of salt. Let it cook over low to medium heat for about 5-7 minutes while you stir it from time to time.
At this time add the drained beans, and stir for about a minute. Cover with the lid and let it simmer for another 8-10 minutes, until all the flavors are well incorporated and the beans absorb the flavors of the tomato gravy.
Add the ground cardamom and cook for another minute. Take it off the heat and let it sit covered for another 5 minutes. Finish with the cream and some black pepper.
This dish is best made at least 3-4 hours before you serve it, so that the creamy tomato flavor is absorbed by the beans. Garnish with fresh flat-leaf parsley and serve it hot. It pairs equally well with white rice, red rice or with a thick slice of toasted bread.