European Solider Beans

bean - european soliderWell known in early New England, this heirloom bean is great as a baking or soup bean.   The name is from the markings near the eye that resembles an 18th Century Solider.  In France this bean is know as ‘Haricot St-Esprit a Oeil Rouge’ or Holy Spirit in Red Eye Bean’.

The European Soldier bean can replace almost any white bean in recipes. Use in soups, salads and casseroles, mix with diced ham and vinaigrette, serve over lettuce as a refreshing cold summer salad.  Use in place of Navy or White Beans in any recipe.

European Soldier Beans with Gorgonzola and Fresh Sage

  • 9 ounces dried European soldier beans
  • 6 ounces mild Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh sage (you may substitute fresh rosemary, but not dried sage)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook beans according to basic instructions.  When the beans are done, drain them and put them in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well so that the cheese melts in and the sage is well-dispersed. Season well with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

(Recipe from David Rosengarten, The Dean & DeLuca Cookbook)


Solider Beans with Pestowhite beans with pesto

  • 2 cups dried Solider beans, picked over and soaked for four to six hours
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup pesto of your choice

Drain the beans, and place in a pot with 2 quarts water, the onion, garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer one hour. Add salt to taste, and simmer for another 30 minutes to an hour until the beans are soft and fragrant. Remove the onion and the bay leaf, and drain the beans through a colander set over a bowl.   You want to reserve the cooking liquid from the beans.  Return the beans to the pot and stir in the pesto. Thin out as desired with the broth from the beans.  Serve warm or room temperature.

NOTE: you could use any light colored bean for this recipe – try it with a mixture of several different sizes or shaped beans.


Sweet N Sour Beans

  • 8 bacon strips, diced
  • 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup Yellow-Eye beans, rinsed, soaked, cooked
  • 1/2 cup dried European Solider beans, rinsed, soaked, cooked
  • 1/2 cup dried Pinto beans, rinsed, soaked, cooked
  • 1/2 cup dried Calypso beans, rinsed, soaked, cooked
  • 3/4 cup dried Black Turtle beans, rinsed, soaked, cooked

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon to paper towels. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. Saute onions in the drippings until tender. Add brown sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard and garlic powder. Bring to a boil.  In a 5-qt. slow cooker, Add beans. Add onion mixture and bacon; mix well. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until heated through.

NOTE: you change the mixture of beans in this recipe based on what’s in your pantry.  Just keep it to a total of 3 cups of beans.


Solider Bean Hummuswhite bean hummus

  • 1/2 pound dried European Soldier beans, sorted, rinsed, soaked, cooked
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Tahini paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

To cook the dried beans, soak them overnight in plenty of water. Drain, put them in a pot, and cover them with fresh water by 1-inch. Bring them to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until they are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Put the beans into the bowl of a food processor. Add the lemon juice, cumin, garlic, Tahini paste, and salt and pepper, to taste. Turn the processor on and slowly pour in the olive oil. Process until smooth and thick. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate for a half hour or so to allow flavors to blend.