Food From Home

Cooking at home for fun, health and frugality!

Slow Cooker Black Bean & Rice Soup

This week I made black bean and rice soup in my slow cooker. I found two similar recipes for inspiration.
http://www.budgetbytes.com/2014/07/slow-cooker-black-bean-soup/
http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2006/12/black-bean-and-rice-soup-with-lime-and.html

Slow Cooker Black Bean & Rice Soup
2 cans (30 oz) black beans, drained
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/4 c salsa
3 c chicken or vegetable broth
1 T ground cumin
1 T dried oregano
1 T chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/4 c long grain white rice
1/4 c lime juice
Put beans, tomatoes, garlic, onions, celery, carrots, salsa, broth, cumin, oregano, chili powder, coriander, paprika in 3.5 quart slow cooker. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Turn cooker on high and add rice. Cook 30 minutes or until rice is done. Add salt and lime juice and cook 5 minutes more. Makes 8- 10 servings.

Verdict:
Hagbard- Tastes like chili. Would eat again. (Yes, you will because we have a bunch!)
Amethesto- It’s okay. (High praise from her.)
Lounmoun- Easy to prepare. We’ve been eating the leftovers and it reheats well. We discussed blending it but decided we preferred it chunkier.

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Fassolatha- Greek Bean Soup

Everyone in my house really likes Fassolatha. It is one of the soups we have in regular rotation. Since it uses dry beans, simple ingredients and no meat it is very economical and accessible to make. I have also seen it spelled fasolatha or fasolada.

I first made this soup after a death in the family 9 years ago when we had a lot of sudden house guests to feed and some were vegetarian. This soup was great for a large group and was warm and comforting. It reheats and freezes well.

Fassolatha

1/2 lb dry white beans- Great Northern, cannellini or Navy

8 c water

2 bay leaves

2- 3 oz carrots, sliced or chopped

1 large onion, chopped

5 stalks of celery, chopped (about 2 c)

1 can diced tomato

3 T – 1/2 c olive oil- to taste)

1 1/2 tsp salt- or to taste

1 tsp ground black pepper- or to taste

parsley, chopped

3 T lemon juice- optional

Rinse and soak dry beans at least 8 hours in a large pot of cold water. Drain.

Add 8 c of water to pot along with bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer  1 hour. Remove bay leaves.

Add chopped carrots, onions, celery and simmer 1 hour longer. Add tomato, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. I use about 3 T olive oil.

Serve warm with feta cheese, olives and crusty bread.  Makes about 10 servings

I have made this soup in the slow cooker. I just dumped everything in at the beginning after soaking and draining the beans and cooked it on low 8 hours.

 

 

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Not My Mother’s Potato Soup

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When I was growing up we often had a very simple potato soup. My mom would cut up potatoes and  onions and put them in a pot with water and boil them. She would add salt and pepper. She would add some milk. Occasionally, she would add cooked ground beef. That was her potato soup. It wasn’t bad but very simple.

My older sister worked in the kitchen of a nursing home in high school and college and she brought home the idea of adding cheese to potato soup. Cheese! I love cheese and started making the soup with cheese and adding canned cream of mushroom soup.

I stopped using canned cream of mushroom soup several years ago and just began looking for a better way to make my potato soup. There are a ton of potato soup recipes in cookbooks and on the internet. I took ideas from several sources. In my final version, I kept the cheese but added things like celery and carrot and chicken broth. I added different spices like dill weed and cayenne pepper. I started cooking the onions in butter before adding them to the soup.  Here is my version that has come so far from my mother’s simple potato soup.


 

Lounmoun’s Potato Soup

3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced

3 oz carrot, chopped

3-5 oz celery, chopped

4 c water or chicken broth

1/2 medium onion, chopped

3 T  butter

3 T  flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp dill weed

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 1/2 c milk

8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large saucepan over medium heat put potatoes carrots, celery and water or broth. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer 10-20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Remove vegetables and reserve liquid.

Add butter to pot and melt over medium heat. Cook onion in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne and dill weed. Cook 2 minutes. Gradually add milk while whisking. Bring to a low boil and cook 2-5 minutes until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add reserved vegetables and stir. Gradually add reserved liquid while stirring until desired consistency is reached. Makes about 6 servings.

Note: If you have leftover liquid you could freeze it to use in other recipes. I used 1/2 to 3/4 of the reserved liquid in my soup.


 

I took some poor pictures of the process tonight to include in this post. I cut the celery, onion and carrots toward the smallish side with my food processor so my people will eat them. You could have bigger pieces of those vegetables if you prefer.

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potato chunks, chopped carrot and celery

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vegetables and broth

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onion and flour mixture cooking

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after adding the milk

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adding the cheese and vegetables

We had our soup with a crusty rye bread. Hagbard said, ” Thank you for the tasty soup. It was souper!” 🙂

From my home to yours,
Lounmoun

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Emergency Meal From The Freezer

Today’s planned meal was fassolatha, a wonderful Greek bean soup. I’m not feeling well and have been struggling to work on a sewing project intended as a gift for Amethesto’s rapidly approaching birthday today. I’m just not getting stuff done.
Poking around in the freezer I saw two glorious containers of frozen minestrone soup. Yes! This kind of day is why I make soup once a week and freeze leftovers.
I thawed the soup blocks enough to get them out and dumped them in the pot on the stove over medium heat to slowly warm while I huddle miserably in a chair with drippy nose and headache waiting for medicine to kick in. I’ll stir it in a bit. Minimal effort for homemade food.
Try to keep something like this in your freezer for those days you don’t have time to prepare food, are sick or just not feeling like cooking. Many foods freeze well. http://www.helpwithcooking.com/food-storage/foods-freeze-well.html

From my home to yours,
Lounmoun

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