A classic one-pot meal from the hills of Tuscany includes a beloved Appalachian ingredient—white beans. Try serving this with a hot pan of cornbread, the Appalachian cousin of polenta.
Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Trim and discard the stem end of:
1 pound shallots
Drop the shallots into the boiling water for about one minute, transfer them to a colander, then refresh under cold running water. Drain well. Peel, then finely chop or mince in a food processor.
In a large deep skillet with a lid, or in a dutch oven, melt and heat together:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Add the shallots, stir and cook uncovered over medium low heat for about 10 minutes until very tender but not brown.
Stir in and coat well with butter and oil:
1 pound small potatoes, halved
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 cups baby carrots, halved lengthwise
Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, covered tightly.
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon marjoram or oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 cup dry white wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
Cover and cook over low heat for about 8 minutes.
4 cups vegetable stock
4 cups white pea or navy beans, cooked and drained (canned beans are fine, rinse them first)
Bring to boil. Lower heat, cover and cook until carrots and potatoes are completely tender (about 25 minutes.)
Salt to taste and add a good amount of:
freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 cups fresh mustard greens or kale, stems removed, chopped finely
Remove from heat. Allow soup to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Meanwhile, melt in a medium skillet:
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups coarse breadcrumbs
Sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the crumbs are toasted. Serve the soup hot, with a generous spoonful of breadcrumbs and ground black pepper on top. Serves 6.
Recipe featured above appears in The Folk School Cookbook by Nanette Davidson; Cookbook photography by Keather Gougler, unless otherwise noted. Illustrations by Sara Boggs.
The Folk School Cookbook:
A Collection of Seasonal Favorites
Arranged by the seasons, the 336-page hardcover book features Southern Appalachian cooking as well as cuisine from other parts of the world—especially those that have helped to shape the history of the school. Folk School regulars will recognize dining hall favorites, Fall Festival fare, Appalachian classics, and treats made for holidays and special events.
Nanette Davidson, cookbook author and former Folk School Resident Artist in Cooking, meticulously collected and curated over 200 recipes including some of the most memorable recipes served family-style in the school’s Dining Hall over the decades.
Between the beautiful photography, illustrations, stories, and the delectable recipes, you’ll be tempted to come to Brasstown for a visit. We hope you will! In the meantime, cook up a taste of John C. Campbell Folk School at home and share it with friends and family.
The Folk School Cookbook is available at the Folk School Craft Shop. Place an order through our online store to have the cookbook shipped directly to you.
The Folk School transforms lives, bringing people together in a nurturing environment for experiences in learning and community life that spark self-discovery. Located in scenic Brasstown, North Carolina, the Folk School offers year-round weeklong and weekend classes for adults in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing.