Picture of legumes

Loving Legumes

Looking inside the pantry for inspiration, my gaze falls on lentils, black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, tepary beans. All legumes. All yummy. All part of my kitchen repertoire. All steeped in incredible history.

Like me, you may never look at these humble ingredients in the same way. Do you know legumes have played a part in the diets and commerce of civilizations all around the world?

• Archaeological evidence shows lentils and garbanzo beans were cultivated in the Middle East at least 10,000 years ago.
• At least 8,000 years ago, ancient peoples in Peru began cultivating lima beans and peanuts. Lima beans are named for the city of Lima, where Europeans first encountered them. Domestication of these legumes spread throughout South America and as far north as Mexico over the following several centuries.
• By 1100 B.C., the soybean was domesticated by farmers in northern China. By the first century A.D., it had spread to parts of Asia, including India and Japan.
• Around 500 B.C., the Greeks and Romans were cultivating peas and pea soup was sold as street food in Athens.

Monday’s Food is Medicine – Love Your Gut plant-based class features chickpeas/garbanzo beans. Miraval Resort’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Alison Ozgur and Director of Culinary Operations and Executive Chef Warren Weekes will educate us while cooking two delicious dishes to keep the gut healthy, one of the vital keys to overall wellness.

Mix it up on Thursday with Gluten Free Breakfast – It’s What’s for Dinner with the Gourmet Girls as part of the monthly Tucson Originals series. Their gift to you is gluten free English muffins and waffle/pancake mix plus you’ll be entered to win a $50 Tucson Originals gift card.

Last, but not least, big congratulations to Ares Collective Nate Ares and Chef Kyle Nottingham on opening the grocery side of their latest concept, Flora’s Market Run, 2513 E. 6th St., at Tucson Boulevard! Culinary delights abound at every turn. Shop the market daily from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Wishing you joy in the kitchen,


Minted Pea Soup



Cold Minted Pea Soup
Adapted from a recipe by James Beard



It can be made with yogurt instead of cream if you prefer a tarter soup with fewer calories.

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 small onion stuck with 2 cloves
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon tarragon
3 lbs. fresh peas or 3 packages frozen
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup (packed) mint leaves
3 cups heavy cream or plain yogurt
Fresh mint, finely chopped for garnish

In a large saucepan, add chicken or vegetable stock, onion, garlic, tarragon and peas. Cook until peas are just tender. Remove and discard onion. Add salt, pepper and mint then purée in a food mill, blender, food processor or using an immersion blender. Combine with cream or yogurt and serve well chilled with a generous sprinkling of mint.


Photo credit: Getty Images and Betty Crocker

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