I’m not a terrible cook. I do pretty well with most recipes. I tend toward casseroles and “bars” and baking in general rather than the healthy, tons-of-fresh-ingredients, spiced by the seat of my pants gourmet type cooking. And I shy away from expensive ingredients, for the most part.
One of my favorite dinners growing up? “Mac and Tom” It’s comfort food consisting of….macaroni….and canned tomatoes…and a can of tomato sauce...and some garlic salt. And sometimes ground beef. MMMMM! So now you know where I’m coming from
With all that said, I don’t cook as much as I should, so I’m going to make an effort to actually COOK two nice dinners a week. “Nice” means 1) not leftovers 2) not a burrito or Cheerios 3) not a homemade egg mcmuffin and 4) containing a vegetable of some kind.
My efforts this week resulted in “Spicy Black Bean Soup” which, I’m PROUD to say, is not only pretty darn healthy, but it was really inexpensive too….
And “Easy Tortellini Toss”, which was crazy-easy, but the tortellini isn’t really an inexpensive ingredient, if that’s your thing. I’ll tell you about that one tomorrow.
Here’s the soup recipe, and my oh-so-humble commentary! You know, to give things some color
Spicy Black Bean Soup (taken from a Martha Stewart Living recipe booklet, and modified, of course!)
- 1 pound dried black beans (cover with water, soak overnight, drain)
- 2 large sweet onions, diced small
- 1 small can diced/chopped jalapenos
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (whatever that means! – I just chopped them small)
- salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 Cups chicken broth (or veg broth, or whatever you have around)
- 1 T cornstarch
- 2 T lime juice
- Slices of avocado (for garnish)
- Sour cream (for garnish)
In large saucepan, combine beans, and 1/4 of the onions and 1/4 of the jalapenos. Cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 45 minutes or until beans are tender. OR just go buy 3 cans of black beans and combine them with 3 cans of water and continue with the recipe
In a stock pot, heat oil and add garlic and remaining onions. Cook about 10 min until onions are soft and golden. Stir in remaining jalapenos, cumin, broth, and the bean mixture with its cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer about 20 minutes, adding liquid if necessary to keep beans covered.
Transfer 2 cups to a blender and add the cornstarch. Puree smooth and return to pot. Cook another 1-2 minutes until soup thickens. Add lime juice and season again with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with avocado slices and a dollop of sour cream.
Very tasty! This is supposed to serve 4, but it fills you up really well, so we’ve gotten about six servings out of it.
(Sorry for the blurry pictures – the magazine pic looked prettier than the real life food!)