Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I think the most satisfying crop I grew this year, next to tomatoes of course, was green beens. I used a variety of French beans and succession planted them every 10 days starting in early May. What was interesting is that the tired old plants got a second burst of flowering energy that I wasn't expecting. After they gave their first crop, they would have about a 2 week period of dormancy and then IF they were sufficiently watered, I would start to see flowers again. The beans from this second wind were more likely to be misshapen and would get woody faster. But there were plenty of good beans to get each day.I did NOT have good luck with Vermont Cranberry Beans. The reason is I used old seed. But I did get enough to muster up a bean and kale soup for lunch. Kale soup is an island staple that usually calls for sausage (chorizo). Here is a less fat laden version.
Caldo Verde

1/2 lb. kale 1 onion chopped
4 cups bullion

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 cup fresh Vermont Cranberry Beans (a can of Progresso Cannelini Beans is a perfect substitute)
1 potato grated

crusty bread and fresh mint (optional)

Shred the kale and combine with the onion, bullion and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 hour. Add beans and potatoes. Cook 1/2 hour.
Place a piece of bread in the bottom of the soup bowl and cover with a sprig of mint. Ladle the soup over the bread and mint.


Matron said...

Can I share my excitement with you? I too planted a later crop of French beans, here we call them dwarf beans. They are just coming into their best right now. I did plant some Vermont Cranberry beans this year from seed I liberated from the garden at Mount Vernon last year. I am saving all the seed for next year.

Blondie ~ Vintage Primitives said...

I enjoy reading your blog so much; sharing your enthusiasm. Our garden this past yr was a grave dissapointment to us, as we are so very very dry. Thanks for the recipe!

carletongardener said...

Great timing on the recipe. I have lots of kale now and some shell beans that are almost ready! Thanks.