Chunky Black Bean Soup & Poor Man’s Pie
Whether it is Super Bowl Sunday or you are just looking for an excuse to have a party, this Chunky Black Bean Soup and Poor Man’s Pie are perfect to feed the crowd. There is nothing like a hot pot of soup and a pie to offer comfort during the cold winter months. These hearty dishes will fill grown men up in a hurry.
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Chunky Black Bean Soup
- 6 c. black beans, dry
- 4 c. chicken broth
- 4 c. water
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp Adobo
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp celery seed
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 lb ham, diced
- 2 c. frozen corn
- 1 small onion, chopped
- Optional: croutons, shredded cheese
Cover the black beans with water and soak for 8 hours, then drain and rinse. Soaking dry beans removes impurities from pesticides and softens the beans for a faster cooking time. All dry beans should be soaked prior to cooking. Soaking will cause the bean to expand. There is a quick soak method that is not as effective, but works in a pinch. Cover the beans with water, bring to a rapid boil for 10 minutes, remove from heat and soak for 1 hour, then drain and rinse. You could use canned black beans. Drain the liquid from the can before using. The cooking time in the first step should be reduced from 1 ½ hours to 30 mins.
In a stock pot, combine black beans, chicken broth, water, medium onion, minced garlic, Adobo, cumin, celery seed, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer 1 ½ hours.
Do NOT add salt when using Adobo. It contains salt. Adobo is a common Mexican spice. If you cannot find it in the spice section on the baking aisle, check in the Mexican foods area. Should you not have Adobo, replace Adobo with 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp of any poultry seasoning. Before using a poultry seasoning, be sure to check the ingredients first. Some brands contain salt. If that is the case, then just use 1 tbsp of the seasoning, without adding salt.
After 1 ½ hours, use a hand blender to puree the black beans and onions in the stock pot. Should you not have a hand blender, you may ladle the beans and onions into a standard blender to puree. Then place the puree back in the pot.
Add the ham and frozen corn. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the small onion. Simmer for 10 minutes. The previous onion added becomes part of the base of the soup when pureed. To get a chunky style soup with true onion flavor, additional onion is added toward the end of the cooking time. Onion cooks quickly, so if they were added at the same time as the ham and corn, they would become soggy and lifeless.
Optional: Garnish each bowl with croutons and shredded cheese. Place in the oven on broil for 1 – 2 minutes, until cheese is melted.
This is a great make ahead dish. Soups generally taste better the next day, and that is definitely true for this Chunky Black Bean Soup. This is also a great freezer meal. It makes enough to feed a family of four twice. After it cools, place half of it in a freezer safe container for a meal down the road. My granny is not able to cook for herself anymore. I freeze our leftovers in single serving size Glad or Ziplock bowls for her to eat whenever she likes.
- 8 slices bread, cubed
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 tbsp Mrs. Dash Table Blend
- 2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 400°. Place cubed bread in a large bowl. Spray with cooking spray and toss bread. Spray a second time with cooking spray and toss again. In a small bowl or ramekin combine Mrs. Dash, garlic salt, and pepper. Sprinkle ½ of mixture over bread and toss. Sprinkle the remainder over bread and toss again. Spread bread over a large baking sheet. Bake 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown.
Mrs. Dash may be substituted with any blended seasoning that you like. Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning is a good option if you prefer a spicier blend. The garlic salt could be substituted with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp garlic powder.
The reason you toss the bread four times is to get good even coverage over all pieces. If you sprayed the full amount of cooking spray needed in one shot, the top pieces of bread would be too soggy and would not crisp up when baked, as well as the bottom would be dry and would not hold the seasonings well. If you do the seasonings all in one shot, the top pieces would be over seasoned while the bottom would have little flavor.
Homemade croutons make a great snack for kids. Kids love to pick their favorite seasonings and make their own snacks. It is a sense of accomplish, stirs the creative juices, teaches them about flavors, and encourages them to try new things. It never hurts to get them started thinking about healthy foods and cooking at home, rather than eating out.
Poor Man’s Pie
- 3 c. frozen strawberries, quartered
- 1 c. frozen blueberries
- ½ c. sugar
- ¼ c. chopped pecans
- 1 c. flour
- ¾ c. sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp oil
- ½ c. milk
- 1 t. vanilla extract
Mix together strawberries, blueberries, and sugar. Refrigerate overnight. As the berries thaw the acid from the berries melts the sugar. This will form the liquid needed to create the pie filling.
In a medium bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add oil, milk, and vanilla. Stir until all lumps are gone. Pour over the pie filling. Bake 30 – 40 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when pushed into the crust.
By placing all the dry ingredients in the sifter together, the ingredients become mixed as you sift. Sifting the dry ingredients makes them finer, so that you can simply stir in the wet ingredients without using a mixer. This will create a crispier bread-like crust, rather than a crust that is more like cake.
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