Recently, i have taken a liking to the SouperCübe, which is a silicone freezer storage system for soup, and it comes in two varieties, one with 4 250 gram (1 cup) compartments and one with two 500 gram (2 cup) compartments. They are becoming my steady companions in my soup production.
In normal times I might make one 2 gallon pot of soup on a Sunday, freeze half of it, and eat the other half during that week. Doing that once a month would gradually build me an inventory of different frozen soups to choose from, so that I always have an option for a quick soup & salad meal, whenever I don’t have time to cook, or simply do not feel like it.
The Bean Soup Project
A special application which I am currently doing was some research for a soup recipe, I have written about it on this blog, and elsewhere. It boiled down to researching a recipe from my youth, made with a variety of bean that is native to Holland, but you don’t seem to be able to get it here. So the question became what bean varieties where the closest.
I ended up ordering some of the original Dutch Bruine Bonen (Brown Beans), and then to compare them to the alternatives, which based on polling a Dutch expat community were 2) Roman beans, 3) Pinto beans and 4) Red Kidney beans, and based on making this soup repeatedly, that was the order of preference. But… my taste testers confused me sometimes, a minor change in the recipe might get one going up in their ratings and another one going down. This was too difficult to interpret.
Now what I am doing, is I am making a new soup every week, but I have frozen some 1 cup portions of the winner, made with the original Dutch Brown Beans. Then, when I made the new batch, I make one cup of the old soup side by side with the new variety, and the results are becoming clearer:
- Dutch Brown beans (Bruine bonen)
- Roman Beans, aka Borlotti, Cargamanto, or Cranberry beans. Almost indistinguishable from the Dutch Brown bean variety. Both are very creamy and mellow.
- Pinto Beans, a little “dryer” tasting than the original. Still a great soup, with my brilliant recipe, but this is clearly the 3rd choice.
- Red Kidney Beans – to be updated next week.
In short, I really needed to compare the tastes side by side, and having the ability to pull a cup of the original version out of the freezer for comparison was just what I needed to be able to do. The next stage of the exercise will be to try even more bean varieties, but first, I am going to experiment with variations in terms of the herbs and spices I use. In particular, I want to make a version with a more SE Asian flavor.