No Croutons Required - Legumes

A big thanks to everyone who contributed a bean creation to this month's edition of No Croutons Required. If you are seeking new and inspired ideas for soups and salads featuring beans and pulses, you will want to browse around for a while, as you will find plenty of recipes from around the world to satisfy your palette. Each and every entry is worthy of appearing within the pages of a published cookbook, but only one will win the June Legume Challenge. The task is not an easy one, though your participation is desired; vote for your favorite in comments or via email. Please note that Holler and I do not qualify for the crown.

The early bird this month is Ivy of Kopiaste, with her Beans al Pesto. Inspired by some leftover Cardamom and Rocket Pesto, she got creative with a staple white bean dish and came up with a eclectic bean salad comprised of cherry tomatoes, olives, veggies, herbs and some of that pesto. I can't prevent the idea of feta from popping into my head. A versatile recipe indeed. (Athens, Greece)

Suganya of Tasty Palettes prepares a healthy but satisfying warm Lentil Fattoush Salad. Lebanese in origin, this delightful combination of brown lentils, cucumber, lettuce, and peppers is dressed with a tangy mint and parsley dressing and garnished with caramelized onions, scallions and cheese. (United States)

Mansi whips up a filling Sprouted Bean and Lentil Salad that is just perfect for the summer months. The beans are combined with tomato, cucumber and herbs and dressed with a tangy dressing consisting of tamarind, lemon juice and chat masala. Next time you overindulge in ice cream, consider serving this salad up for dinner to compensate. (California, United States)

Deeba may be Passionate About Baking, but that doesn't stop her from coming up with healthy dishes, like this Sprouted Mung Dal Salad with fresh vegetables, mint and a splash of lime. Deeba eats sprouts on a regular basis, and provides some other serving suggestions in addition to her delightful salad. (New Delhi, India)

Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe gets creative with this Asian-style Shitake and Star Anise Split Pea Soup that is packed full of flavours. This thick and warming soup contains not only one of my favorites, dried shitakes, but also watercress, ginger, onion, soy sauce and sesame seeds. Chewier than traditional split pea soups, this sounds like one interesting soup. (Melbourne, Australia)

Salty Girl tries to beat the heat with this Salad with Chickpeas, Couscous and Soft Boiled Egg. Mixed greens, radish, apple, and red pepper are tossed with a Dijon vinaigrette, topped with chickpeas, onion, couscous and soft boiled egg. A satisfying and balanced choice for a hot summer day, but no doubt a fine choice for any season. (Washington, DC, United States)

Siri sets her sights on the ever popular chickpea and comes up with this mouthwatering, slightly spicy pureed Garlic, Chickpea and Spinach Soup. This unique soup is easy to prepare but just bursting with legume and veggie goodness. Serve with some Naan or crusty bread for a satisfying lunch or light dinner. (North Carolina, United States)

Mindful of reliable staples, Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs makes a Classic Three Bean Salad. Another good choice for hot temperatures, this colourful combination of red kidney beans, chickpeas, Great Northern beans, red pepper and onion are dressed with a pungent dressing of fresh mint, tarragon, cilantro, red wine vinegar, olive oil and garlic. A good choice for a buffet, but the addition of fresh herbs makes this fit for the finest of tables. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Ashley of Eat me, Delicious has missed the last few months of No Croutons Required, but she managed to find the time to come up with a stunning Beet, Barely and Black Bean Soup for June. This balanced meal in a bowl takes the idea of Borscht to new heights. The black beans and intense beets are highlighted by onion, garlic, tarragon, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and lots of dill. Beet lovers are sure to rejoice. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Sunita comes up with a bean lovers delight with her Mixed Beans and Lentil Broth. Much more than a broth, an assortment of beans and pearl barley is cooked risotto-style along with arborio rice, carrots and mixed with a bit of paneer and a spicy tomato garlic paste. This one-pot meal is a perfect way to use up quantities of beans that have been hanging around in your cupboard for while. (United Kingdom)

Inspired by our event, Petra of Food Freak makes this refreshing Citrus Curry Lentil Soup that she has been meaning to try for a while now. An interesting twist on an old classic, the lentils, along with a few veggies, are cooked in a broth flavoured with spices and a blend of fresh grapefruit, lemon and lime juice. Top with a bit of agave syrup, or perhaps some sour cream or yogurt if desired. (Hamburg, Germany)

Allie of Yum and Tum takes some time out from her studies to prepare this Appaloosa Bean Salad. Bored with her usual southwestern-style bean salad, Allie pairs appaloosa beans with celery, cucumber, sun-dried tomatoes and hard boiled eggs and dresses the whole delightful combination with some mustard, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and some fresh mint. Serve warm or chilled. (Houston, Texas, United States)

Next up is Hetal of Isha's Kitchen with a tempting Sprouted Green Gram Salad that she makes regularly. Also known as mung beans, Hetal tosses one of my very favorite legumes with some tomato, peppers, onion, lime juice, chili powder and fresh cilantro. Easily adaptable to a variety of tastes, and simple to make besides, this is sure to become a classic in many a household. (Houston, Texas, United States)

Kittie, the winner of the May challenge, submits a bright and colourful Bean Salad with Capers & Oregano that is a perfect solution for a quick yet healthy dinner after work before heading out for some fun. Lightly steamed green beans, kidney beans, capers and tomatoes are seasoned with red chili and garlic and smothered with a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice. (East Sussex, United Kingdom)

This Puy Lentil, Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Salad is my entry for this month. Feta cheese marinated in olive oil, lemon juice and mint is then combined with roasted red peppers and sturdy puy lentils that have a remarkable ability to hold their shape. Easy to make, but bursting with flavour, this salad is sure to please feta lovers like myself. (London, Ontario, Canada)

Our next entry also features the extremely popular lentil. Arundathi often prepares this Quick and Easy Lentil Salad consisting of sprouted lentils, cucumber, tomatoes and lemon juice for breakfast. For the dressing, she makes a chutney from chilies, cilantro and gram dal. A quick and healthy way to start the day, you can't go wrong with classics like this one. (India)

Rachel of Tangerine's Kitchen also submits a sprouted salad, but her Zesty Sprouts Salad features homemade mung bean sprouts rather than lentil sprouts. For this salad, sprouts and tomatoes are dressed with oil, vinegar, a wee bit of sugar, garlic, mustard and chili powder. Ready in no time, this colourful salad is a perfect accompaniment to any meal. (India)

Maybelle's Mom submits this tasty sounding French Lentil Salad with Roasted Garlic Lavendar Vinaigrette. Grilled asparagus and radicchio, radish, carrots and a few cherry tomatoes mingle with the lentils. The whole delightful combination is tossed with a vinaigrette of olive oil, mustard, cider vinegar and a few lavender leaves. An elevated experience indeed. (Ohio, United States)

With the help of her mother-in-law, my co-host Holler of Tinned Tomatoes brings together some of my favourites in this Balsamic Beetroot & Chickpea Salad with Mint. Even though she is on vacation, Holler couldn't resist the fresh beetroot available to her, and I'm very glad of this. Serve this tempting salad with some pita breads and hummus - preferably outdoors says Holler - for a very enjoyable culinary experience. (Scotland, United Kingdom)

Fellow chili fiend, Nora of Life's Smorgasborg, makes a spicy Savoury Chickpea Salad with red pepper, onion, and spice. Originally she included some extremely hot peppers that she bought without knowing that they were a variety of Habanaros, one of the hottest peppers on the planet. Luckily, she managed to save her salad by picking out most of the fiery bits. (Sydney, Australia)

Cooking Panda of Flexitarian Menu enjoys breaking the laws of culinary traditions and accordingly comes up with this unique Apricot Lentil Salad with Beets and Mint that turned out to be better than expected. A meal in itself, brown and green lentils are combined with apricots, barley, onion, some vinegar and olive oil and topped with roasted beets and a dollop or two of spicy mint yogurt. (Brooklyn, New York, United States)

Wendy of A Wee Bit of Cooking couldn't resist picking some fresh rocket from her garden for this simple, yet tempting Rocket and Chickpea Salad. Tossed with a light dressing of lemon, olive oil and a wee bit of garlic, this is an ideal salad for a hot summer day. Wendy tells us it was nutty, fresh and delicious. (Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom)

Inspired by Mark Bittman, Jen of Little Bird Eats prepares "a mouth-puckeringly tart" Lemony Lentil Salad. Jen tells us this staple combination of lentils, capers, two lemons, garlic and chives is also good the next day, albeit a bit mellower. This versatile salad can be enjoyed all year around with a great variety of dishes. (Ireland)

With so many different kinds of beans available, it's easy to incorporate more beans into your diet without growing bored, especially if you mix a whole bunch together like Hippolyra did for her Mixed Bean and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad. Rocket and spinach is topped with spring onion and beans, followed by squash roasted with rosemary. Garnish with some sprouts and cherry tomatoes for a lunch that will drive your co-workers green with envy. (United Kingdom)

Rasmus from Sweden writes his very first post in English so he could submit this colourful Cool But Hot Tomato Soup to No Croutons Required. This inviting bowl of pureed tomatoes, cannelini beans, carrot, celery and spices will refresh you on a hot day, while tantalizing your tongue. (Stockholm, Sweden)

Lysy submits a delightful Sprouts and Bulghar Salad that she made after picking up an organic sprout mix at the market. The crunchy sprouts are paired with bulghar wheat soaked in stock, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and chives. Dress with oil and lemon juice for a fine and healthy lunch. Lysy says it is her new favorite salad. (Warwickshire, United Kingdom)

The Budding Cook has lately begun to explore salads, and she comes up with this Bean Salad that is every bit as elegant as it is hearty and filling. Roman beans, corn, cucumber and scallions are all dressed up with olive oil, lemon, Dijon mustard and ready to eat. (United States)

Kevin of Closet Cooking uses one of my very favorite grains, quinoa, as a base for this texmex style Mango and Black Bean Quinoa Salad that I would need an iron will to resist. Complete with jalapenos, cumin, lime and cilantro, this creamy salad can be served warm or cold for a perfectly balanced vegetarian meal. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Anna of Morsels and Musings makes this lovely Indian Tamarind and Peppercorn Rasam. Toor dal is here ground into a powder, combined with pureed tamarind, tomatoes and lots of spices, resulting in a thick, brothy bowl of bliss. Serve with rice and Indian flatbread for a light, but decidedly satisfying meal. (Sydney, Australia)

Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once makes a gorgeous Spicy Chickpea and Onion Soup that is likely to become a staple in many a household. Tomatoes serve as a base for this thick soup of chickpeas, caramelized red onions, harissa, and rocket and spinach leaves. Haalo served this bowl of yumminess with cheese and rocket filled pita breads toasted into a sandwich. Dinner doesn't get much better than this. (Melbourne, Australia)

Last but not least, from Michelle of Greedy Gourmet here we have a classic Creamy Pea Soup. Consisting of only two ingredients, not counting the seasoning and the parsley garnish, this simple yet impressive blend of peas and crème fraîche is ready in ten minutes. A busy schedule is no reason to sacrifice good taste or nutrition. (United Kingdom)

Holler will be hosting the July edition of No Croutons Required. Check back at the end of the month for the theme and this month's winner.


test it comm said...

Great roundup! There are so many tasty looking dishes to read about.

Wendy said...

Excellent round up. My favourite is Haalo's vibrant chickpea soup.

Siri said...

Lovely Roudnup Lisa. Thanks for hosting such a lovely theme!

My vote goes to Suganya's Lentils Fattoush Salad!


Anonymous said...

This is practically a whole legume salad cookbook. Love the commentary!

MapMaster said...

I vote for all of them, but I'll give an extra vote to Johanna's Shitake and Star Anise Split Pea Soup.

Anonymous said...

What a great selection, Lisa! I definitely need to bring more legumes into my life. .. this is a perfect place to start. Thanks for another great No Croutons Required.

Deeba PAB said...

Wonderful array here Lisa. Would have never thought one could get so adventurous with the humble lentil! This issurely an eye-opener, & a spicy one! YAY!!

Ivy said...

Thanks for the lovely description of each dish. Everyone deserves a vote here for the good job done.

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Quite a legume soup and salad affair. Came upon this quite by chance and late.:(
Maybe next time.

Rachel said...

Lovely text accompanying the lovely treats are interesting...

Jon Corsiglia said...

they all look delicious. my vote is for Salty Girl's Salad with Chickpeas, Couscous and Soft Boiled Egg.

TBC said...

What a lovely collection of healthy recipes! Thanks, Lisa & Holler.:)

My vote- Kevin's Mango and Black Bean Quinoa salad.

Arundathi said...

Lovely lovely round-up. Thanks! So many little time! :-)

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

What a wonderful roundup Lisa! I have read through them and it would be hard to just pick one favourite. I will have to ponder a while :)

Chef Jeena said...

What a fantasic round up of delicious healthy recipes Lisa. :)

Lucy said...

Gosh - more deliciousness to peruse.

Great round up. Too hard to decide on a winner just now!

Johanna GGG said...

so many great dishes and just one vote? that's tough! But I have managed to send one in.

I wish I was at home eating a nice bowl of warm legumey soup right now! But even worse I am in sunny darwin where I know there is slim chance of a delish salad like those in the round up :-(

Anonymous said...

I vote for Salty Girl's entry!

sunita said...

Wow, so many wonderful is spoilt for choice.

Mansi said...

what a fantastic roundup guys!! I found so many lovely salad recipes, thanks to you!:)

maybelles mom said...

Alright, I have been thinking about these entries and trying to decide. I wish that I could vote for one soup and one salad--but I go with the lentils and egg from Salty Girl.