New World Pasta Fagioli

Confit may be a way of preserving food, but the batch I made the other day is almost gone, so I didn’t get a chance to put it to the test. So far we’ve had it with pasta (twice), in egg sandwiches along with some of the bacon, and with tonight’s twist on a traditional Italian soup.  I thought the bacon infused tomatoes would give a bit of an American flair, a sort of Pork ‘n’ Beans meets Pasta Fagioli.

Pasta Fagioli All’Americana


1 1/2 cups dried cranberry beans, picked over and rinsed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for serving

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Wheat Berry and Bean Soup

The pleasantly chewy texture of wheat berries makes them a refreshing alternative to rice or pasta in bean soups. I soak them overnight, but I’ve seen some recipes that skip that step. Get the wheat berries in the Sun Oven early so you’ll have plenty of time to make the soup.

Wheat Berry and Cranberry Bean Solar Soup


1 cup dried cranberry beans, picked over and rinsed

1 cup wheat berries

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

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Solar Soup with Kale and Beans

Serve this soup with a nice crusty bread and a salad for a satisfying vegetarian meal.

Sun Oven Kale and Cannellini Soup


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 large stalk celery, chopped

3 1/2 cups cooking liquid from Solar Simmered Cannellini with Kale (room temperature)

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Beans Today, Soup Tomorrow

These beans make a great side dish on their own, but be sure to set some aside (and save the cooking liquid) for a delicious soup later in the week. If you can’t find cannellini, any white bean will do. Same goes for the greens, curly kale can be substituted for the Tuscan.

Solar Simmered Cannellini with Kale

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Solar Cooked Beans for Fried Bean Patties

This is another hybrid recipe. Half solar and half traditionally cooked. Unlike most of my mixed cooking method dishes this one starts out in the Sun Oven, where the beans are cooked, and is finished up in a frying pan. The beans can be made ahead, while the sun’s shining. Don’t fry the patties until you’re ready to serve them.

The recipe is one from a collection of recipes that I cut out of Italian magazines over twenty years ago. I don’t use them very often, but always get a kick out of how they are written. Unlike American recipes with their precise measurements and detailed instructions, Italian recipes are more like the instructions you’d get from Grandma if you called her and asked how to make a family favorite.

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Solar Cooked Beans

When you get into the habit of using you Global Sun Oven on a regular basis you almost hate to see a sunny day go to waste. When I have my dinner covered I like to throw in a big pot of beans. Once cooked, store them in their cooking liquid. They’ll keep in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. I suppose you could freeze them; mine never last that long. Once you have cooked beans on hand, and cooked dried beans are so much better than canned, you’ll be able to create everything from dips to main dishes.

Bean and Tuna Salad


1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

3 cups cold or room temperature cooked cannellini beans

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More Sun Oven Soup

The potato and the onions give this soup a touch of sweetness that contrasts nicely with the tartness of the sour cream and the lime. It also freezes well for a quick, hearty, weekday lunch. If you plan ahead you can use cooked dried black beans instead of canned.

Sun Oven Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup


1 tablespoon canola oil

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 (14 oz each) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

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Quick and Easy Solar Lunch

Huevos rancheros from the GSO make an easy to prepare, attractive lunch.

Solar Baked Huevos Rancheros


6 small corn tortillas

1 (16 oz) can refried beans

6 room temperature eggs

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

green or red salsa


Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat

Spray a six cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

Soften the tortillas one at a time by covering them with a paper towel and heating in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds each. Place one corn tortilla in each muffin cup. Divide the beans among the cups and make a well in the middle of each one. Crack one egg into each well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in GSO approx. 30 minutes. About 1 minute before eggs are cooked sprinkle cheese on each egg, continue cooking until cheese melts.

Carefully transfer huevos to plates. Top with green or red salsa.

Sun Oven Party Dip

Oven roasted garlic is delicious and the Global Sun Oven does a great job of bringing out its sweet and mellow flavor. Serve this garlicky dip with vegetable crudités and toasted French bread. The recipe calls for canned beans, but dry beans that have been cooked ahead of time work just as well.

Solar Garlic White Bean Dip


3 (15 oz cans) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons dried sage

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


Place Global Sun Oven out to preheat

Combine beans, water, cheese, garlic, oil, sage, oregano, salt, and pepper in a 5 to 6 quart pot. Cover and cook in GSO until garlic is browned, about 1 hour.

Add lemon juice and zest; coarsely mash with a potato masher until all the ingredients are blended. If mixture is too dry add warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it becomes thick and spreadable.

So Easy Solar Sweet Potato Chili

Easy Sweet Potato Chili


1 table spoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 14 oz can Mexican stewed tomatoes

1 14 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo sauce (or chili powder to taste)

salt to taste


cilantro, chopped

sour cream

Heat oil in a large dark sauce pan, add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add next four ingredients, tomatoes through chipotle cover and place in GSO for approx. one hour or until glass door begins to steam up.

Garnish with cilantro and sour cream.

This recipe can be easily doubled, but you’ll need a really big pot. You might have to remove the leveling tray and place a cooling rack or a trivet on the floor of the GSO’s cooking chamber to get it to fit.