White Tepary Bean, Cholla Bud & Fennel Soup


An amazingly hearty, light, and delicious vegetarian soup prefect for any time of year (for a vegan version just omit the cheese garnish.)


1 teaspoon, olive oil
1 fennel/anise with fronds, bulbs sliced, fronds for garnish
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 cup white tepary beans*, cooked
1 head of garlic, roasted** then pureed
1/2 cup of cholla buds*, cooked
1 small bunch of verdolagas/purslane, or any seasonal greens
juice of one lemon
lemon wedge for garnish
1 quart vegetable stock
Grated parmesan for serving 

Mise en Place: 

Place the olive oil in a stockpot. Sautee the fennel and onions till softened.
Add the stock, beans, pureed roasted garlic, and cooked cholla buds. Let simmer to combine the flavors. Add the greens and cook until wilted. Add the lemon juice. Garnish with a tablespoon of cheese, lemon wedge and a fennel frond per serving.

Serves 4-6.

*White tepary beans and cholla cactus buds are available from Tohono O’odham Community Action/TOCA, www.tocaonline.org, 520-383-4966.

**To roast garlic, cut an unpeeled garlic head in half. Drizzle with olive oil. Place in heavy tin foil and wrap tightly. Roast in a 400degree oven until soft and caramelized – about 30 minutes. Remove from foil and squeeze out the roasted garlic.