This took a little longer to get posted than I planned, but anyway, here it is. This is loosely based on a recipe from "Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant." I don't think I ever make a recipe exactly as written, but my food mostly turns out tasty anyway. This is a great cookbook, by the way. All vegetarian, with some fish dishes, and each chapter is from a different country or ethnic region. I have a tiny problem with some of their ingredient choices (does cabbage actually grow in southern Africa?) but I know enough to substitute what I like.
Hungarian Bean Soup
1 cup dry beans (navy or kidney)
or 1 can beans
1 leek, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste (~1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
2-3 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp cider vinegar
chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Soak dry beans overnight, then cook until tender. Drain and rinse beans, but reserve 1-2 cups of the cooking liquid.
In a separate saucepan on medium heat, saute leeks and carrots in 1-2 tbsp of oil. When leeks start to brown, add garlic and spices and saute for about 30 sec to 1 min (warming the spices brings out more flavour). Add vegetable stock, bean cooking liquid, and beans (or add can of beans, liquid and all). You want a total of about 4 cups liquid, so add more veg stock if necessary. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes.
Take soup off heat, and stir in sour cream and vinegar. Check seasoning, and adjust if necessary (if you like spicy, you can add some chili flakes or sauce). Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley (if you're feeling fancy). Makes about 4 servings.
It's really quite simple, and if you can't be bothered with dry beans, I think the canned ones should be fine - you'll just need more veg stock. I added some cauliflower I had in the fridge, and you could add other vegetables if you want, although I recommend keeping it fairly simple. The flavour of the broth isn't strong, but it's very tasty. Have this with some dark rye bread, fresh from the bakery or oven.