Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Meal Planning and Black Bean Soup

One thing that is very important to me is feeding our family at home.  I'm not saying that we don't go out, we do (and we have favorite places like North Star Cafe or Skillet) but the majority of our meals are made at home.  One way to ensure this happens is to plan out our meals.  On Sunday, I sit down with my cookbooks/magazines/recipes and first plan out the menu and then the shopping list.  It's a total time saver for the rest of the week!  My friend Kelly sent me these great recipe markers for Christmas...perfect for tagging recipes (and you can see our new french cook book from our friend Grant..I'll be using that later this week):  

On the menu for last night was our first meatless meal, Black Bean Soup (adapted from Edible Columbus, recipe by Tricia Wheeler):

1 pound dried black beans
12 cups water-note I should have used less
2 bay leaves-I omitted
1/2 cup olive oil-I decreased to a few tablespoons
2 large red peppers, cored, seeded and diced
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
8 medium cloves of garlic, peeled, smashed and chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons salt-I used more

Soak black beans overnight in water
Saute onions and peppers in olive oil until soft.  Then add garlic, cumin, oregano and chili powder and cook for a few more minutes.  (I did these steps the previous night)

 Drain beans from water and place in crock pot with water (I used 12 cups...which was too much, next time I'll start with 8 cups and add more if needed).  Cook on high for 4 hours, then add the onion/pepper mixture (I'm sure you could add this at the beginning if you needed to leave for the day).  Continue cooking on high until done (I cooked ours from 7am until 5pm, about 10 hours).  Depending on desired consistency, puree some of soup.  (I used my new emulsion blender and it whipped through the soup in 30 seconds).  Because I added too much water in the beginning, I made a slurry of cornstarch and pureed soup and added to thicken.

Garnish with toppings of choice:
Crushed tortilla chips
Sour cream
Diced jalapeno peppers
Fresh cilantro
Cheddar cheese

The review:  I will make this soup again (Chris really liked it) but next time less water.  Chris was worried that the soup wouldn't keep him full but that wasn't the case.  It makes a huge amount so we will be eating it for days!


Alicia said...

That soup looks really good! I will have to try that and I like the idea of going meatless one day a week, it's very doable!

sandy said...

Sounds REALLY good! I think I will try half a recipe! I live soup especially in this cold weather.

Sonya Kimmet said...

I had left over soup for dinner and it was even better this time around! I agree with Sandy, soup in the winter is awesome.