Just thought I’d mention a recent article on bean stock and an article on cooking dried beans from the delightful conglomerate blog Culinate, out of Portland. Save your bean cooking liquid! Chef Kelly Myers notes that large white beans yield enough silky starch in their cooking liquid to make an almost gelatinous stock, with a mouthfeel reminiscent of meat stock.
On a related note, I recently picked up a bag of black bean flour on a tour of Bob’s Red Mill in Milwaukie, OR. OSU Extension’s Nutrition Education Program in Lane County put out a bean cookbook for low income families using federal commodity bean flour about a year ago, and I was inspired by the tortillas made of 100% bean flour, so I thought I’d try ’em out. Lo and behold, I discovered that Bob’s Red Mill sells black bean, fava, and garbanzo flour. Each of these would make a great vegetarian soup and stew thickener. The particular legume flour you’d use would vary depending on the recipe.