Sometimes it can be difficult to get excited about green beans. But when your taste buds are delightfully reunited with the taste of your childhood – something you may have forgotten about but when you reconnect with it you remember instantly – it can be a great thing.
Such is the case with this green bean recipe! I can remember my Grandmother “Nanny” making green beans just like these when I was a mini me.
The Power Of A Grandmother
Of my grandparents I was closest to my maternal grandmother, who we affectionately called “Nanny.” You can find pictures of her on the old photos tab here on Betty’s Cook Nook.
Mere days before 1900 Nanny was born in Dime Box, Texas – a tiny unincorporated community in the southeast central Texas prairie. Nanny saw a lot during her 91 years and one thing we’ll always remember her for is her good-time food. Nanny’s green beans were one of her signature creations right up there with her chicken noodle soup, her prized waffles, and the coconut ambrosia she’d bring over on Easter Sunday.
This recipe comes to Betty’s Cook Nook from my fellow foodie Cousin Jennifer who scored it from our awesome Julie, who was the matriarch of our family for many years. Jennifer said she and Julie would enjoy these beans most Sundays for lunch. I hope you enjoy them! Who knows – whether it’s this recipe or another – maybe you’ll create a new tradition of your own shared through the art and love of food!
❤ Paired with bacon, onions, tomatoes and garlic it’s really easy to like these green beans. I realized while eating these that the canned beans tend to be a little soft for my preference. You may feel quite the opposite! Then I did a little research and realized I actually prefer what I knew as a kid as plain green beans (aka haricot verts) vs. the canned Italian cut. The next time I try these beans I’ll try substituting the Italian cut with fresh sautéed green beans with a little more bite (firm to the tooth) to it and see what happens.
Total prep: About 35 minutes.
4 slices | bacon, cut into pieces
1 | white onion, thinly sliced
14 ½ can | diced tomatoes, with the liquid
1 envelope | Lipton’s dry onion soup mix
½ teaspoon | dried tarragon
½ teaspoon | fresh garlic, minced
½ teaspoon | sugar
2 cans (28 ounces each) | Allen’s Italian-cut Kentucky wonder beans, with the liquid
to taste | salt
to taste | fresh cracked black pepper
iii. What To Do
2. Add the diced tomatoes with the liquid, the onion soup mix, tarragon, garlic and sugar. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the green beans, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15-20 minutes and voilà!
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
A scan of the original green bean recipe is below. Sorry, Mary A. Peterson. I renamed your recipe to honor my Grandmother “Nanny.” Plus, I don’t have an Aunt Mary. But props to you for sharing this forward – that’s exactly what an awesome foodie does!
Over time, my love for potatoes has mushroomed. Er, potato erupted!?
As a tot (pun intended), my earliest recollections of potatoes began with my Grandmother “Nanny.” Nanny would make our family favorite “lumpy potatoes” for special holiday meals and I remember my brother Roger demanding them come holiday time.
As I grew older I discovered instant mashed potatoes. These puppies were dangerous because you could make them super-fast and eat them even faster. I would top mine with some Lawry’s seasoned salt and some cheese and eat them right out of the pan. Ahhh, the secret to my hour glass shape!
As my potato love matured I now appreciate the art of a really good potato. I love them cubed and coated with olive oil, rosemary, sliced onions and salt roasted on the grill or the love that goes into the twice-baked potato – the end result is pure potato heaven!
The first time I made these I was big-time bummed because my oven broke while these were baking so they came out crunchy tough. The second attempt was perfect so I plan on making them again. This recipe is an easy way to create a great-tasting potato dish in a few easy steps. Pretty spud-tacular, if you ask me!
Foodie Tips ~
♥ My Grandmother “Nanny” loved Falfurrias brand butter. If you want to go right, buy it!
♥ Love potatoes? Try my own Rosemary Smashed Potatoes – delicious! Don’t forget to search for recipes with the keyword “potato” here at Betty’s Cook Nook – there are many dishes that all share the love of spud.
¼ cup | butter, melted
¼ cup | onion soup mix
1 teaspoon | salt
cup | water
4-5 medium | baking potatoes
ii. what to do
0. Preheat oven to 350°F.
1. Combine butter, onion soup mix and salt.
2. Pour water into a 2-quart casserole.
3. Scrub the potatoes and do NOT peel them. Cut potatoes into ¼-inch thick slices.
4. Arrange a single layer in the casserole dish and spread with a tablespoon of the onion mixture. Repeat making about 5 layers.
5. Cover and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until potatoes are fork tender.
Yields: 6 servings
Growin’ up in “San Antone,” my first memories of Italian food came in the form of Shakey’s Pizza Parlor off Austin Highway.
I don’t really remember the pizza much, but I do remember the experience and excitement of piling into the car to go pick it up. Shakey’s was the place for great family fun ~ especially for kids. Shakey’s had a magically cool player piano similar to the one we had at home where we spent countless hours singing with friends. I still have that piano!… To top your day, Shakey’s had party skimmer hats for the taking sporting bands around the top that read “Shakey’s” typeset in a blackletter-style font… and my favorite part were these little figure eight-shaped balloons you could blow-up and slide onto flat cardboard shoes; they’d stand on their own, transforming into the awesome shape of a happy pizza chef (at right). Why not watch this vintage video of the Shakey’s experience (and have a little laugh)?
So Italy. I’ve been lucky to travel to my far away home away from home 5 times (so far!) and have become somewhat of an Italian foodie snob. While this soup may not knock you over the head with “obvious” Italian flavor, when I close my eyes, the heartiness of the beans, carrots, tomato and parsley transports me back to my first tastes of Italy.
What a great memory that is.
You can read about my travel experiences to Italy at my other passion site at ForTheLoveOfItaly.com. More recipes, travel tips and pics, and fun stories.
Now, on to the soup!
1/2 cup | diced carrots
¼ cup | sliced celery
1 | diced tomato
1 cup | shredded cabbage
to taste | pepper
6 cups | boiling water
1 package | lipton brand beef flavor noodle soup
1 package | lipton brand onion soup
1/2 cup | kidney beans
2 tablespoons | chopped parsley
to serve | grated cheese
ii. what to do
1. Cook vegetables in boiling water, covered, for 20 minutes.
2. Stir-in pepper and soup mixes; cover and simmer 10 minutes.
3. Add beans and parsley. Heat.
4. Serve with grated cheese.
Foodie Tips ~
♥ You may have trouble finding the boxed soups; they are from the 70s. So sport your favorite 70s “cut-offs” and hold a soup-y seance. If you can’t find the soup with the noodles inside it, you can add your own; just make sure it’s a fine noodle, like Capelli d’Angelo (angel hair pasta). You can break the pasta into small pieces before cooking.
♥ In a pinch, you can do what I did and use grated mozzarella cheese. But try using a finely grated “hard” Italian cheese so the gooey cheese doesn’t overwhelm the soup. A couple of my favorites are Pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano.
♥ Add a few sprigs of rosemary to the soup for a souper-dooper-booster of Italian flavor.
♥ You can double-up on the beans and some of the water, to make it more broth-y.