Spring Vegetable, Oat and Bean Soup
The Spring warmth is finally here. But for now, I am still craving soup. I am one of those people that likes to eat soup until it gets super hot, like 90F degrees outside anyhow though so I will probably be making it for a while. It is healthy, easy to make comfort food, most of it economical, so why not?! I made a soup a few days back that some may find interesting, but it was so good that I needed to share the recipe. Most people eat oats for breakfast, but did you know that steel cut oats are amazing in savory applications as well? When I was in high school my Mom bought a soup book, and we would pick out recipes to make together. We must have made at least 20 of them. Some were keepers, and some we didn't like as well. But I remember one had steel cut oats in it. I was intrigued and we had to try it. I love oatmeal, and in fact I have eaten it almost every day for 15 years, and steel cut oats are my favorite so I already had some on hand. It was good! Kind of like adding rice to a soup, but a little more texture. Steel cut oats actually have 6 grams of protein per serving and fiber so it is more nutritional bang for your buck than the rice.
I had forgotten about that soup because it was so long ago, but I was reminded recently when I was gifted a big bag of steel cut oats. I thought to myself, I need to use these in something other than breakfast (because I don't have time to wait for them to cook in the morning on work days, just weekends), so that soup came to mind. I was soon asking myself why I had not thought to make a soup with oats again because it was good. So, I decided to make one featuring the veggies of Spring. I had some carrots, leeks, asparagus and mushrooms on hand and that sounded like the perfect combination. It was easy to make, you don't need to stand over the pot, just let it cook and add things as you go.
I added beans at the end for more protein and fiber and it was perfect. I love mixing grains with beans in things to get extra protein and fiber. The soup was hearty, delicious, and perfect for a cool Spring day! The oats have a pleasant texture kind of like wild rice but smaller, and a little bit of a nutty flavor. This soup comes together in less than an hour too, so you can have dinner on the table quick!
Spring Vegetable Oat and Bean Soup
- 4 cups vegetable broth or filtered water
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 leek, sliced thinly
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1/3 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2/3 cup steel cut oats
- 1 cup asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans
- Combine the filtered water, celery, carrots, leeks, garlic, mushrooms, sea salt and thyme in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until the veggies have softened.
- Add the oats, and continue to cook until they are tender, about 15 minutes more.
- Add the asparagus and beans and cook 5 minutes more.
- Remove from and serve!