Cranberry is an odd name for a lovely, versatile bean. Thought to be originally from Colombia, the bean has been bred around the world to become Madeira, Borlotti, Tounges of Fire, Wren’s Egg and more. Cranberry beans are soft and dense with a velvety, rich texture. The thin skins help produce a rich bean broth, making it the natural friend of pasta e fagioli (pasta fazool) as the liquid coats each noodle with its luxurious sauce.
In Mexico you'll find these as Cacahuate (peanut) beans and in Patzcuaro, you'll fall in love with them in a good Sopa Tarasca, which is about one third pureed cranberry beans, one third roasted tomatoes and one third chicken stock, topped off with some deep fried tortilla strips.
A favorite staff meal at Rancho Gordo is a bowl of Cranberry beans with poached chicken pieces, drizzled with your best fruity olive oil. Simple and sublime!
Recipes and more on Cranberry Bean at Rancho Gordo.