Kamut, a variety of khorasan wheat, was rediscovered in Egyptian tombs in the 20th century. Some say that Noah brought kamut kernels along on the ark, hence the nickname Prophet’s Wheat. Others call kamut King Tut’s Wheat claiming it was found in the tomb of an Egyptian pharaoh. Although its origins are debated, there’s no denying the fact that kamut wheat is full of protein and essential nutrients.
This soup definitely has French flair. It got its inspiration from my beloved The Modern Vegetarian cookbook by Peter Berley. It is pretty, delicate, and full of different flavors that create the perfect soup for a dinner party. Peter suggest the use of any “wild” mushrooms, but shiitakes are our favorites. Feel free to change it up. Remember that you have to soak the kamut and the kidney beans overnight (or for 6-8 hours at room temp), so start the day before, or soak them before leaving for your day in the morning.
- 1/2 cup dried red kidney beans, sorted
- 1/2 cup whole-grain kamut
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh sage
- 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 celery rib, with leaves, finely diced
- 1 cup finely sliced savoy or napa cabbage
- 8 ounces shiitake mushroom, thinly sliced (I cut mine in small dices)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Black pepper
- Fresh parsley for garnish
Combine the beans and kamut in a strainer and rinse briefly under cold water. Place them in a bowl with 4 cups of cold water and soak for 6 to 8 hours at room temperature (or for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator).
Tie the thyme and the sage with kitchen string to make a bouquet garni.
Drain the beans and kamut. Combine with the vegetable broth and the bouquet garni in a soup pot, and simmer the mixture for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until tender.
While the beans cook, warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, cabbage, mushroom, garlic, and salt and sauté for 5-7 minutes until softened. Reduce the heat to low and cook gently 10-15 minutes more.
Once the beans and kamut are nice and tender, transfer the vegetables and their juices to the soup pot. Add the soy sauce and vinegar and simmer for 15 minutes to meld the flavors. Discard the bouquet garni. Season with salt and pepper to taste, garnish with parsley and serve.