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Russian Cream of String Bean Soup

From Athens Locally Grown

<p>A great way to use up beans, especially as it gets cooler toward fall.</p>
Source: Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette. (Entered by Eric Wagoner)
Serves: Serves 6

1/2 lb string beans
2 leeks, sliced
4 potatoes, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons butter
6 cups water
2 cups milk
salt & pepper to taste
string beans cut up and cooked separately as a garnish
finely chopped chives (optional)

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Wash and clean the beans, removing the ends and strings. Prepare the leeks and potatoes.
  2. In a large pot, melt the butter and saute the vegetables for one minute. Stir often. Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low-medium, cover the pot, and cook the soup slowly for about 40 minutes.
  3. When the vegetables are cooked and tender, pass the soup through a sieve or blend it in a blender. Return the soup to the pot and add the milk and seasonings. Stir the soup well and bring it again to a light boil. Turn off the heat and let the soup stand for 10 minutes. Serve the soup hot, and garnish it with small cut string beans that have been cooked separately. Some finely chopped chives may be sprinkled on the soup.