For centuries, almost in every country in the world, pulses have been ingredients in traditional nourishing dishes. Here in South Africa, we have been eating umngqusho (samp and beans), Isophu,“Cape Malay biryani’s with lentils, dhal curries, split pea and pork knuckle soup, warming winter lamb and bean stews and hearty bean soups.
Now, pulses – dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas – have been recognized by the United Nations (UN) for their substantial contribution to health and nutrition, and for their role in improving the environmental sustainability of farming practices. As such 2016 has been declared the International Year of the Pulses. The mandate is to position pulses as a primary source of protein and other essential nutrients.
Pioneer Foods, marketer of the Imbo and Crossbow ranges of pulses, has thrown its weight behind the campaign with various projects to increase awareness of the usage and healthy values inherent in pulses.
For many, dried pulses such as red speckled beans, kidney beans, small white beans, samp and bean mix, soup mix and split peas play a major part in a typical sustaining winter diet. Pulses are an alternative and excellent source of protein, and are super affordable.
Looking at the nutritional value and composition of pulses it is clear why they contribute to health. Pulses are a nutrient dense food, which means that per gram, they have a high concentration of nutrients while low in energy. They are low GI, high in fibre and contain protein, vitamins and minerals. They are also gluten-free.
To promote good, nutritious and healthy meals, Pioneer Foods has commissioned a range of recipes that are both delicious and easy to prepare. Please find this delicious recipe by my foodie friend, Errieda du Toit. I love the touch of roasted bone marrow.
Hearty bean and red pepper soup with roasted marrow bones
Serves 4 – 6
250g Imbo or Crossbow dried red speckled beans
2 onions, peeled and chopped
30 ml (2 tbp) cooking oil
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 red sweet peppers, deseeded, cut into strips or chopped.
2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped or grated
3 ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
1 – 2 marrow bones per person (optional)
- Soak and cook the beans according to the instructions on the pack.
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onions until softened. Add the red pepper strips, garlic and carrots. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat, stirring now and then.
- Then add the tomato with a few tablespoons of the chicken stock, stirring while it cooks.
- Now add the rest of the stock, taste and season well and simmer for 15 minutes.
- If serving your soup with the marrow bones, preheat the oven to 230 °C and bake the marrow bones, well-seasoned with salt, while the soup is cooking. The marrow bones are ready when it starts to separate from the bone.
- Add the cooked and drained beans to the simmering broth and heat through. For a chunky soup, serve as is, or puree the soup in small batches with a blender or masher, then return to the pot and reheat over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Serve with the warm marrow bones and toast.
You may also want to try out this recipe 👇