Those little white things are bulgur, a durum wheat product made from a whole wheat kernel that has been parboiled, dried, and ground into various sizes (depending on the grade). That parboiling thing is awesome, because it makes bulgur a whole grain that cooks quickly- no presoaking, no draining, just throw it in soup or broth or something and it softens in about 20 minutes. This aspect of bulgur has made it my new, delicious fave; more nutritious than cous cous but just as easy peasy. I also love it cause it's a Mediterranean product, which is the main criterion for automatic favoritism from me. Also there's a (short) Wikipedia page in Latin for it, teehee.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch Purplette or green onions, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1" ginger, minced
1/2 lb white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup sherry
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 large yams, sliced into 1/4" uniform thickness
3 cups beef broth (this is the best) (for vegetarians, use veggie broth)(use more broth if needed)
1 tsp savory
1 5-6" stick fresh rosemary
1 lb cherry tomatoes blended, strained through mesh (or 1/2 can tomato paste with 2 cups water; I had tomatoes only)
in tea ball-
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fennel seed
1 cup bulgur wheat
egg or shredded cheese of some type (optional)
1. In a large stock pot, saute onions, garlic, ginger, and celery in oil until cooking and fragrant, 10 minutes.
2. Add mushrooms until cooking, 5 minutes. Add sherry and saute until reduced, about 10 minutes.
3. Add cumin and chili powder and stir until well integrated and toasting, 5 minutes.
4. Add yams and all liquid ingredients (add more broth to cover everything). Add rosemary and savory. Hang tea ball with fennel and bay leaf on the side of the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer, 10 minutes.
5. Add bulgur. Simmer for 20 more minutes or until bulgur and yam are soft and cooked.
6. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with an egg cracked in and cheese on top if you like that stuff.
serves 6-8; And as with all soups and slow cooked items, better the next day :) I next-dayed it with some delicious chopped mustard greens. Gnam!