Welcome to the fourth instalment of On Board in 20: a recipe series where we share wholesome, family style meals you can prepare in about 20 minutes. The recipes always contain whole food ingredients and are intended to be brought to the table for family members to build and construct their individual plates as their senses guide them. Along the way, we bring you tips and tricks for speeding up prep and clean up for those busy weeknight meal times.
Coconut & Bean Soup with Crostini Bar
In this vegetarian instalment of On Board in 20, we have a hearty coconut bean soup with crostini toppings for every palate. Like many families, we get into the same rut of meat, starch and veggie, each with their own space on a white plate. This dinner provides an opportunity to rethink that. When I originally put this meal together, I considered having just the crostini - it really can stand on its own. Especially as the nights get warmer, being able to bring this board to your outside table is very appealing.
I love this meal for several reasons. First, most of this is made up from what I almost always have on hand in the fridge and pantry. You could adapt this with whatever beans you have in the cupboard. Shaved parmesan and cottage cheese could replace the feta and ricotta. Avocado instead of tomatoes. Peaches instead of grapes. If you feel like it needs a bit more substance, a can of tuna or salmon would also make a nice addition.
Another reason I love this meal is that it reuses kitchen utensils. Drain the beans and the cooked peas with the same colander; no need to rinse it. Same goes for the food processor: a little leftover ricotta in the peas is nice. And finally, it’s another make-at-the-table kind of dinner. Everyone chooses their own toppings and if the options are still too much for the kiddos, peanut butter and banana makes pretty darn good crostini.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 green onions, chopped, white & green separated
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 1 400 ml can coconut milk
- 1 398 ml can black eyed beans
- 1 398 ml can pinto beans (or butter beans, white kidney beans, etc.)
- 6 on-the-vine cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup whole deep purple grapes
- 1 baguette, half of it sliced thin
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup baby spring peas
- 1 cup ricotta
- ½ fresh lemon, juice and zest
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons feta, crumbled
- fresh basil, thyme and/or mint
- alfalfa sprouts and/or pea shoots
- flaked sea salt and coarse ground pepper
- plain yogurt to dollop on soup
- Preheat oven broiler and move rack to second highest position.
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Roughly chop green onions and separate white and green. Smash and chop garlic. Put white part of onions and garlic into pan and cook for about 1 minute. Add spices, stir to form a paste and let it toast a couple minutes over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, place peas in a small pot with about an inch of water over high heat.
- Arrange grapes and tomatoes on one side of a parchment-lined baking tray, drizzle tomatoes with olive oil. Place under broiler and set timer for 8 minutes (more as a reminder so nothing burns).
- Back to the soup, add the stock, coconut milk, and both cans of beans. (Drain and rinse the beans first.) Cover, reduce to medium or medium-high and let simmer.
- Slice baguette, drizzle with olive oil and put slices on the other half of the baking sheet.
- Using a food processor, puree the ricotta, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Put in a bowl for serving.
- Without rinsing the food processor, add peas with a pinch of salt. Coarsely grind (you don’t want a puree, some texture is nice). Put peas in a small bowl and top with crumbled feta. Thinly slice radish and layer near or on smashed peas.
- Check on crostini, grapes and tomatoes. Using scissors to cut the parchment if you need to, simply lift the grapes and tomatoes off baking sheet with parchment and place directly on board. Add crostini.
- To finish board, add alfalfa sprouts, fresh herbs and a dish of flaked salt. Ladle soup into small serving bowl and top with remaining green onions and dollop of yogurt.
Looking For More 20 Minute Meal Ideas?
- Mini Ricotta Meatballs Over Lemon Rice and Peas
- Sticky Greek Chicken With Cauliflower Couscous
- Soy Glazed Salmon With Blistered Spring Veggies and Rice Noodles
Lisa Bolton is the creator, writer and photographer behind Food Well Said, her blog about bringing thoughtfully prepared, whole food recipes. She lives in the Lower Mainland of BC and you can reach her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.