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Arugula White Bean Soup with Avocado Cucumber Toasties

January 22, 2011

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I’ve been down with a cold this past week and been living on soups.  While most of my diet this week consisted of brothy, spicy rasams, last night, as I felt better, I ventured to make a more hearty soup.  I paired that up with Avocado Cucumber Toasties.  In my recent trip to Australia, I discovered that toasted sandwiches are called Toasties down under…

What You Need

For The Soup

  • 1/4 Cup Pearled Barley
  • 1 Can Trader Joes Cannellini Beans
  • 1/2 Can of Trader Joes Diced and Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Chillies
  • 2 Pkts of Trader Joes Vegetable Stock Concentrate
  • 1 Leek, chopped fine
  • 1/2 Orange Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 4 Cups of Water
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups of Arugula
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Toasties

  • 4 Slices of Bread (I used Alvarado Street Bakery’s Essential Flax seed bread)
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Persian Cucumber
  • 1/2 Orange Bell Pepper
  • 1 Tblsp Chopped cilantro
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 Tbslp Olive oil
  • 2 tsp Balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

How its Done

  1. Start with the soup.  Heat a saucepan and add the olive oil. When the oil heats up add the chopped leek and saute for a couple of minutes, then add the minced garlic. Let soften. Then add the chopped bell pepper and tomatoes. Let cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Rinse the beans with cold water to get rid of the brine completely.  Add that to the vegetables in the saucepan.  Now add the water, the stock, oregano and the pearled barley. Cover and cook for 30-35 minutes till the barley is done, stirring periodically. Using the back of your spoon, mash some of the beans – this will help thicken the soup.  Turn off the heat. Add the arugula and mix so it wilts in the heat. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.
  3. While the soup is simmering turn your attention to the toasties.  Spray or baste the bread with olive oil on both sides and put under a broiler, turning the sides, till toasted.
  4. Dice the cucumber and the bell pepper and add to a bowl. Cut and scoop the avocado into the bowl and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix. Add the balsamic vinegar and mix, if using.
  5. Top the bread with the above mixture, either as a bruschetta or cover it with another slice and make a sandwich – with soup the sandwich is easier.

I loved the toasties – the creaminess of the avocado was a great contrast to the crunch from the cucumber and pepper, in between two crunchy slices. The warm soup with the beans and barley were a perfect contrast in textures, but paired really well!

PS: For the calorie conscious, one cup of the soup is 120 calories and one toasty (sandwich style) is 187 calories. Mind you, the avocado is contributing the most calories to this meal, and its all good fat..a full meal under 400 calories.

One Comment
  1. mouth watering Rakhi, toasted bread with creamy inside sounds yum, on my must try list. Its been a while since we met up we should meet up some time.

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