“Mardi Gras is a state of mind.” ~ Ed Muniz, former mayor of Kenner, LA. (1940 – )
Our Sunday dinner with the Mosaic Papa this week was a blend of three holidays in one. For the appetizer, we celebrated Chinese New Year with spring rolls; for Valentine’s day, we had dark chocolate, heart-shaped cookies; and for dinner, we toasted Mardi Gras while enjoying a bowl of Cajun Butter Bean Soup. Mmmmm, that soup was goo-oood!
Every now and then, marketers come up with a more attractive name to promote a food. The slimehead fish became orange roughy, prunes are now known as dried plums, and rapeseed oil is the outdated name for canola oil. Likewise, the lowly and much maligned lima bean hired a publicist, leading the lowly lima to more frequently go by its Southern moniker, the Butter Bean.
The “butter” in butter bean refers to its creamy texture, and that is exactly what we capitalized on in this recipe that is healthy without any compromise. Of course, that might defeat the purpose of Mardi Gras, but nobody will know just by tasting it!
Cajun Butter Bean Soup
Time: 15 minutes active time, cooking time varies by method
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large russet potato, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 (15 oz) can chopped tomatoes
2 cups (two 15-ounce cans) cooked butter beans
6 cups water 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning blend
Salt to taste
Slowcooker: Measure all ingredients except the optional salt into the slowcooker pot. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 8-10 hours, until vegetables are soft. Puree with an immersion blender or in batches using a regular blender. Salt to taste.
Stovetop: Sauté the carrots, bell pepper, celery, and onion in the olive oil in the bottom of a soup pot until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except the salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, and cover. Cook for about 1 hour, until vegetables are soft. Puree with an immersion blender or in batches using a regular blender. Salt to taste.
You’ll want to serve this while hot, but the soup gets even better if refrigerated overnight and then reheated the next day, much to the delight of whoever lays claim to the leftovers.