I grew bolita beans a couple of years ago as a dried bean and had yet to cook them. Last week I made this bolita bean soup with amaranth leaves, amaranth grain (hence double amaranth) and purslane.
- 1 cup dry bolita beans, soaked overnight
- 3/4 cup amaranth grain
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- chopped hot peppers to taste
- veggie broth
- amaranth leaves
- purslane leaves and upper stems
Sauté the onions, garlic and hot peppers in olive oil. Add veggie stock. Add beans, amaranth grain and cumin. Bring to a boil then simmer until beans are fully cooked (about an hour).
Add the amaranth leaves and purslane, cook a few more minutes and serve.
Bolita beans are a New Mexico variety. I got my original seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. For some reason I thought that they were a bush bean, but they turned out to be pole beans and vined over two garden beds. I actually got two crops of these beans as quite a few pods shattered and re-seeded.
I grew two varieties of amaranth, Amaranthus spp., this year, one from Botanical Interests called Edible Red Leaf and another from Kitazawa Seed Company called All Red Leaf. All Red Leaf was indeed more red than the former.
I did not harvest amaranth seeds, only the leaves. I picked up the grain from my local food co-op. Amaranth seeds are not a true grain and are gluten free. The seeds are like quinoa but smaller. They are also harder than quinoa and take longer to cook. That’s why I put them into the soup at the same time as the beans.
Purlsane, Portulaca oleracea, is known as verdolaga in Mexico. I’m growing a variety from Bountiful Gardens that has a more upright stem than the kind often found as a garden weed.
Purslane may be eaten raw as well and has a slightly tart taste. Amaranth is not as tasty raw and benefits from cooking. Both of these greens made this soup delicious and filling.