Grilled Cheese and Savannah Navy Bean Soup

Grilled Cheese and Savannah Navy Bean SoupThis is kind of a one-off post because the recipe doesn’t come from Mark’s book.  Savannah Navy Bean Soup is an adapted recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant Lowfat Favorites, and I got it on a recipe card from my bean purveyors, Cayuga Pure Organics.  Cayuga Organics adapted it, and then I adapted it.  So this is like a 3rd degree removed from Moosewood original.  The grilled cheese sandwich is something I’ve been messing around with for a while and I will talk about my tips for making great grilled cheese a little later.

Savannah Navy Bean Soup

Ingredients I used

2 small onions, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

4 cups of st0re-bought vegetable stock

1 bunch fresh spinach

2 cups canned crushed tomatoes

4 cups cooked white beans (you can use 2 cans if you want, just rinse them off really well)

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

1 Tbsp light brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground allspice

Couple of dashes of hot sauce

2 cups cooked white Japanese rice

How I Made It

I drizzled some olive oil into the bottom of a big soup pot, and cooked the onions and the garlic for a little bit.  Then I added about half the stock and cooked that for 15 minutes with the lid on.  Then I added the clean, chopped spinach, tomatoes, beans, remainder of the stock, vinegar, sugar, allspice and hot sauce.  I let it simmer for another 15 minutes.  I stirred in the rice and cooked for 5 minutes more.  I didn’t salt because I wasn’t sure how salty my beans were and how that would impact the flavor of the soup. That’s it!  It’s so simple and so delicious and it is already vegan.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ever since we became vegetarians, grilled cheese sandwiches have become a regular meal at our house.  We’ll eventually transition away from dairy, but for now, we’re enjoying them.

Ingredients I used

  1. Bread Alone Peasant Bread: bought presliced at the Greenmarket but it’s also available at a lot of different stores in New York
  2. a really good quality extra sharp aged cheddar cheese: I use Bobolink cave-ripened cheddar that I get at the Greenmarket.  I love Bobolink because they treat their cows really well: they have an 18-year old cow, Sarah, in their herd! (and many others almost as old)
  3. lots of unsalted butter: right now I use “really hard to find except at the Greenmarket” Ronnybrook butter

How I Made It

Put a non-stick skillet that will fit your bread on low-medium heat and let it preheat empty while you slice the cheese (about 3 minutes).  Some people recommend that you grate your cheese but I disagree: when you grate the cheese and try to pile it onto the bread in the skillet, it goes all over the place, melts around the bread and the moisture it releases makes the bread all mushy.  I say take a nice serrated knife, and cut even slices. But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Use the room-temp butter and spread it on one side of each pieces of bread: the outer sides when it makes a sandwich.  I know you can figure this out.  Place one slide, buttered side down in the pan, arrange your cheese on top, cover with the other slice of bread, butter side up, and leave it alone for 3 minutes.  Flip, and do 3 minutes on the other side.  Resist the urge to peek and move the bread in the skillet.  I promise, it’s not burning, it’s just crisping up nicely.

Making It Vegan:

I’ve never made this vegan but I’ll try soon and report back.  I’ll just swap out the cheese for vegan cheese and use margarine instead of butter.  Although, this soup is equally delicious with a plain toasted slice of bread so no substitutions are necessary if you want to remain a purist.


One response to this post.

  1. […] no picture (again! I’m a really terrible food blogger).  But it was really similar to that Savannah Navy Bean Soup I made a little while ago so you can get the […]


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