A while ago, my cousins and I decided to all start blogging and sharing recipes. Meg shared this fantastic recipe for Bean Soup that we come back to all the time. It’s a great, no-hassle recipe that I point to whenever people say “cooking is hard and I have no time”. I ask them, do you have a can opener and a pot? Great, you can totally do this and it tastes amazing. Ben and I usually skip the “soup” aspect and just pour it over rice, but you could also serve with cornbread on the side. We’re in the process of finding our favorite cornbread recipes (more on that at a later date), so no recipe help there from us yet.
Meg’s blog got eaten somehow, so I haven’t had an easy way to point to the recipe when people ask. But Google Reader had it archived for me, so here it is: below is Meg’s post copied in its entirety.
from Sweet NutMeg by Meg
Today is a rarity in the Arizona desert. It has rained nonstop all day.
Tempe enjoys an average of 330 days of sun per year and receives an annual rainfall of only 9.36 inches total. So when this type of weather creeps in, I reach for a blanket and a book. I don’t want to spend a great deal of time focused on the act of cooking as that would impose upon my time sitting around. Tonight, I decided to go with a simple, healthy, yet extremely tasty three bean soup. I always have cans of beans hanging around the pantry. You’d think I was stocking up for the third world war or something… Three cans of beans, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of corn and some simple spices. You can let it simmer all day or have it ready in a half an hour.
The choice in spices can turn this from a hearty cold night’s dinner to a lite summer’s lunch.
- 1 can Black Beans, drained
- 1 can Kidney Beans, drained
- 1 can Pinto Beans, drained
- 1 can Diced Tomatoes, with juices
- 1 can Corn, drained
- 1 Tbsp Dehydrated Onion
- 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1/4-1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Use 1 cup salty tortilla chips slightly crushed, shredded cheddar cheese or sour cream for topping
Add the three cans of drained beans, the can of tomatoes with juices and spices to a large pot over medium-high heat. Add water or chicken stock until your preferred consistency is reached. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for at least thirty minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese or a dollop of sour cream. Serve hot with crusty bread.
In the summer, serve with tortilla chips and lime wedges!
Everyone has their funny little quirks, their little habits that they perform without even understanding what they’re doing or why. Well, eventually you understand what you’re doing, but you have to be way more self-aware than I am to figure out the why as well. I am convinced we all have these quirks. I know I have several.
There’s one that Ben and I share which has sort of gone to extremes this week. It goes totally unsaid between the two of us, but we’re both totally complicit in it. I’m talking about our butter* curl.
Smart Balance comes in the little tubs (for baking, we use Earth Balance, which comes in sticks and is great for baking but tastes like plastic on bagels). When you first open a tub of butter**, you are greeted with this beautiful liquid surface, nice and smooth with a slight dome to the top. And sometimes, a little tiny curl in the center where it was poured in. Looking at this curl makes me happy, so the first few times I use the tub, I get my butter from the outside ring, leaving the curl undisturbed. Ben seems to be doing the same thing; we don’t discuss this, it’s not a plan. It just happens. Usually, by the time we’ve gotten everything on the top, one of us has taken the curl and we move on with our lives with the rest of the tub, spreading it like normal people.
Well, this tub has gotten ridiculous. It was a beautiful, towering curl. So we were able to avoid it more easily. We’re now halfway through the blasted thing, and there’s still this big curl in the middle! And neither of us will touch it. It’s just… there. Staring at me, not quite perfect anymore, but not going anywhere either. And we’ve gone this far; am I going to be the one to move it? To disturb it? I couldn’t. So… now what?
*Okay, yes I know it’s not butter. If you’d prefer, I can say “Smart Balance Buttery Spread Margarine” every time. Or you can just hush and go along with my little fiction and we can use a short 6-letter word instead. With me? Great. So, butter.
** Or buttery-flavor substitute.
Ben indulged my whims today in a major way, which is one of many reasons why he is so wonderful. See, Lilit turned 14 today (I think — I know it’s some time in April, and a few years back, I picked an arbitrary day because, well, she won’t know the difference).
I asked Ben if we could make her a birthday cake, which we did. He got out some of the ground pork to defrost while I was at work, and when I got home, we mixed it with some matzo meal (good breadcrumb replacement), put it in a mini cake pan, and baked it. It came out looking sort of like a hamburger, only with a lovely caramelized top. And Ben asked for party hats, so I made party hats for the three of us. Lilit was less than pleased with her party hat, but the cake pretty much made up for it. She liked that part.