How’s it going friends?
I hope that the cold weather has not been too hard on you. Whenever the cold Montreal winter creeps in, all I want to do is make delicious warm hearty soups. Today’s recipe is called Loubia, which literally translate to beans.
It’s a delicious, spicy and citrusy soup that will make you forget that it is snowing outside.
What is Loubia and How to make it?
In short, it’s a Moroccan stewed white bean soup. However, I do feel that that description does not really do it justice. Loubia is essentially just as much about the sauce as it is the beans. The sauce is based with red onions and preserved lemons. The combination of the two ingredients makes the sauce sweet and citrusy.
To bring everything together, it’s essential that you use the right blend of spices. In my case, I enjoy using whole cumin seeds as base to sautee with the onions, then I add the following:
- Turmeric, for the earthy taste and incredible anti-inflammatory properties it has.
- Paprika, to add a healthy dose of natural sweetness and a heap of Vitamin A & E
- Ground cumin, just because it tastes wonderful
A Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot would be Perfect!
This is not a requirement, in fact, you can make Loubia in your Dutch Oven or any other large pot you have. However, to cook the beans properly, you will have to wait longer. Like a lot longer.
If you choose to go that way, make sure you cook your beans completely through as they can be hard on your digestive system if not cooked properly.
Lastly, you can if you choose to do so, make this recipe in a slow cooker. This implies that you will simply have to dump everything at once in your slow cooker and cook it for 6-8 hours on low-heat. Not my favourite method but I can’t argue with its practicality.
If you want the true Moroccan way to make it then you will want to use a pressure cooker. It makes the process much shorter and gives you perfectly cooked beans every time!
Can I just use Canned Beans?
You can, however I would strongly advise against it. Canned beans are already cooked, and they are usually flavourless. The reason why we use dry beans and cook them our selves is to infuse them with the rich flavours of the sauce during the cooking process.
Not to mention that your beans will release their starch into the sauce which will give you that velvety finish that Loubia is known for. You really can’t get that any other way.
Home Cook Tip
Loubia is always better the next day. I don’t know why, but it just is. You can also store your stew in the fridge in an air tight container for 3-4 days. If you want to freeze it, place your soup in a ziplock bag, flatten and freeze. When needed, just place your frozen soup (with a splash of water) in a large sauce pan and gently heat it.
Loubia | Moroccan White Bean Stew Recipe
Spicy, citrusy and just what you need in a cold winter day. Plus, did I mention it's vegan?
- 300 grams dry white beans soaked in water overnight
- 3 medium onions roughly chopped
- 1 preserved lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tsp cumin seeds (whole)
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- salt to taste
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
IMPORTANT: Soak kidney beans over night in a big bowl. The beans have to be a little more than completely covered with water.
Warm up olive oil at medium-high heat in a pressure cooker. Add onions (3). Add cumin seeds (2 tbsp). While cooking...
Cut the preserved lemon: into quarters first; then, using a small but sharp knife you remove the pulp. Cut the peel into strips. Remove the seeds from the pulp. Chop your pulp finely - just keep chopping until there are no big pieces. Add to your pot.
Keep cooking until the onions are translucent (approximately 5 minutes).
Add 1 clove of minced garlic. Mix & cook for another 2-3 minutes. Drain the beans then add into pot. Add 4 cups of water. Add 2 heaped tbsp of tomato paste. Add ground spices (turmeric, paprika, cumin, pepper).
Stir and seal your pressure cooker. Cook on medium heat for 45 minutes to check on it the first time.
Note: if you do not have a pressure cooker, you can try making this recipe in a dutch oven. However, I cannot guarantee if it'll work, nor can I tell you how long it would take to cook and for it to be ready. Beans need very high heat to be cooked down. Canned beans have already been cooked in a pressure cooker. I would recommend trying this with a pressure cooker only.
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