marfax brown

I have a thing for vegetable varieties I’ve never heard of, especially when they are supposed to be well-suited for my climate.  And a reputation for exceptional tastiness doesn’t hurt. So I had high expectations for Marfax Brown. I planted more of them than any other variety. And they did not meet my expectations. Check out the results of the fall harvest. (They’re the pretty yellow beans that barely cover the bottom of the smallest bowl.)

Given their poor yield, I had pretty much decided against planting them again next year. Tonight, however, I cooked up the entire pitiful summer 2009 crop and now… I’m wishing I kept back a few for seed. 

I brought them to a quick boil before yoga this morning, then left them to soak awhile. When I tasted one later, I was startled to find that it tasted like a cross between a bean and a boiled peanut. Hmm.

Beans are something of a blank canvas, and I tend to throw a lot of strong flavors at them.  These guys are interesting, but subtle, so it’s tricky to enhance them without overwhelming. Here’s what I came up with:

 Beanut Ginger Soup

1. Thinly slice an onion and put it in a lot of olive oil, over very low heat for a very long time, until melted but not browned. At some point, add a heap of minced fresh ginger and let it cook along with the onion.

2. Simmer the beans until tender. Add a large diced carrot, a large diced potato, a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter, some salt.

3. Once the vegetables are soft, add the onion/oil/ginger mixture and cook together a few minutes. Season to taste with salt and cayenne, and add some chopped green stuff before serving.

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