Monika's Spicy Green Bean Soup

Revision: 1.02; last revised: 06.Oct.09

This recipe was sent to me by my sister, Monika, in a moment of pique--I'm sure...  It's spicy, robust, and a simple yet great meal.  But beware: it's not for the timid!

Most any stew or soup meat can be used.  Sausage makes an excellent and savory alternative.  I prefer lamb, as the flavors seem to mingle and support each other better.

Heat the oil and/or butter, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds; stirring constantly.  When they start popping add the onions, salt, and the rest of the spices.

When the onions get soft and glassy (or if the seed popping starts to get out of hand), and you're using regular meat (not sausage or other prepared meat) add it at this time, turning to braise it on all sides.  When lightly braised or browned, add enough of the water and/or broth to cover the meat.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let the meat simmer up to 1-1/2 hours (depends on the degree of "done" you like).

While the meat is simmering, wash, clean, and rinse the green beans.  Trim the stem ends, and cut/break them into 1-2 inch long pieces.

If using sausage--add it now.  When heated through, add the beans.  Cover.  Stir from time-to-time.  Cook until the beans are tender; 25-45 minutes or so (cook until you're happy with the texture).

The exact proportions aren't critical.  If you like it spicier, add more spices; especially the cayenne and chili.  For a more liquid soup, add more broth or water.  If using water, add a bit more salt and pepper.  I usually double the cayenne and chili; triple the seeds; and bring the broth up to the pot handles.

Serve with crisp crusted rustic sourdough bread, and a cellar cool beer.