Gazpacho

gazpacho_2_MG_2274My favorite thing about Gazpacho soup is you can really put whatever vegetables you want and blend it up.  A trip to the garden or farmers market and pick up the ingredients. I use this recipe as a rough guide for my chopping and blending.  I always add a jalopeno or some hot pepper into the blend. And usually whatever tomato juice, V8 or bloody mary mix I have in the refrigerator.  Of course the garnish is also fun, be as creative as you want.  Best served cold.

 

Spicy Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Pancetta Soup

ImageIt’s dipping below zero temperatures here in Mpls. Makes you want to stay inside and make something warm.  I’ve been reading about how healthy sweet potato and Quinoa are for you,  so when I saw this recipe in Donna Hay Magazine I had to give it a try.  I enjoyed the soup pretty simple to make and you can load it up with all the spinach you want.

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Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

This week I have attended a couple of Chili contest events.  What is better than a group of people getting together to eat lots of good Chili, while in costumes no less.  I will say I did not win any golden spoons with this recipe.  There was some steep competition, and I went with the vegetarian variety. Some people did say they liked it, but let’s be honest usually looking for some meat in my chili.

I found this Pumpkin Black Bean Chili recipe which looked interesting with the pumpkin.  This was my first pie pumpkin I have ever cooked, I did like the pumpkin in the chili it gave it an interesting twist. My review of this was too much cinnamon and not enough spice for me.  I would cut the cinnamon in half from the recipe and add some fresh chopped jalepeno when dishing up a bowl.  I made it with red beans since that is what I had on hand, the veggies were good and the Guinness beer gave it a nice finish.  The chili was very colorful and pretty-hey even healthy.  But that soon changed as I added a dollop of sour cream, cheddar cheese, chopped onions and cilantro on top. One can never have too many assecories with chili, a girl’s best friend.

Recipe from Crumb blog

Don’t forget to save and roast your pumkin seeds.

Ham and Bean Stew

It has been a beautiful fall season this year. Inspired by the golden canvas as I scoot down the river road.  The cooler weather makes me think of soup, I found this bag of 12 bean variety of dried beans that blended with the color palette out my window. As usual I find a few recipes and improvise with what sounds tasty. I soaked the beans overnight and then cooked the beans for an hour with some water bay leaves and the bones from the ham-hock.  There was not much water left in the pot when I was done cooking the beans. So I added a can of chicken stock.  I then followed the Cuban black bean stew recipe in my new cookbook: splendid table how to eat supperThe Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift.

Steps

  1. Trim the meat away from the ham-hock bone, cutting it into small pieces. Don’t be too fussy; leaving some on the bone is fine. Film the bottom of a 10-quart stockpot with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Stir in the meat, bone, cloves, onions, bell peppers, garlic, jalapeno and salt. Sauté for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the vegetables are sizzling and there’s a brown glaze on the bottom of the pan (the vegetables need not brown, and take care not to let that glaze blacken).
  2. Add a little of the broth along with the garlic, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, black pepper, and tomato paste. With a wooden spatula, scrape up the glaze as you simmer the mix on medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Then add the beans, carrots, celery,can of tomatoes, fresh herbs and the remaining broth. Adjust the heat so the soup bubbles gently. Cover the pot tightly, and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the juice from 2½ limes or ⅓ cup of the vinegar. Taste the soup for seasoning. Adjust the salt, pepper, and lime juice or vinegar to taste.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls, topping each serving with a heaping tablespoon of chopped onion and a little fresh cilantro. Have the hot sauce on the table.