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Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Wednesday is Soup Day!
I have a friend who LOVES to cook. And truly, I envy the meals that they enjoy because it's a bit tricky with my family. When someone says we are having "Lentil Chili" or "something something prima vera" Not only am I JEALOUS, but bummed....because you see, even if I *could* cook that way, and I would love to cook that way....my family would turn up their collective noses and ask where the nearest hot dog is instead.
This past summer I watched and listened to the tales of which garden grown yummies were going into what fabulous meal or side dish.....zucchini this, home grown string bean that...and OH! the blueberries by the gallons off the bushes, and the beautiful tomatoes and Armenian cucumbers (Were they Armenian? I don't remember!)
I feel like a culinary failure on a lot of levels just because it is not worth the effort for me to try to cook in a way that my husband will not eat. I know if I do break out and try recipes, that I will get my feelings hurt when he doesn't like them. I already know ahead of time what he likes and doesn't like and won't bother to try, so why am I setting myself up for more disappointment and hurt feelings?
Because! Sometimes you have to. For my own sanity, I have to break out of the meat and potato routine and just fill my kitchen with delicious smells of something that *I* want to eat.
A few days ago I asked my friend what was cooking for dinner. I should have known not to ask this, because the moment the typing came across the chat screen saying "Spicy black bean soup with ham" I KNEW I was in trouble! My mouth began watering right there. I love soups. Especially crockpot ones. Especially savory spicy ham and bean ones.
I put it out of my mind.
The next morning..thanks to the thoughtful consideration of my darling friend..there it was in my inbox. THE. RECIPE. !!!
Well, yesterday evening (or was it the night before?) Came the text...."Did you get the recipe I sent?" Well.....yes......(guilt guilt guilt....)How to explain that though I want to make it, my family won't appreciate my efforts? :c|
Today was THE day.
The morning dawned cold and windy and gray, much like yesterday and I thought to myself....after taking stock of what I did have in the fridge and what I would need to make this delicious concoction....that all I needed really to buy was a pound of black beans, a ham steak, and low and behold...celery salt! I had EVERYTHING else I needed.
This afternoon I pre-soaked beans! I chopped! I diced! I measured! I stirred! And I was extremely happy when the only canned thing in the soup was a can of diced tomatoes. I'm not fond of recipes that require me to just open 8 cans of various things and dump them together. That is NOT cooking to me! I added seasonings.....and ohhhhh BOY HOWDY! You should smell my kitchen.
It's simmering right now. And if the husband and son don't like it? I've got hot dogs for them, they can cook them themselves. There comes a time in a woman's life where she has to follow her own culinary desires, reward her own palate, hear and feel her tummy rumble and cook what she is longing for!
And if you would like to try it out with me...here's the recipe!
Spicy Black Bean Soup With Ham
* 1 pound black beans, washed
* 10 cups water
* 1 pound diced ham
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 stalks celery, chopped
* 1 cup shredded carrots
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 4 teaspoons garlic powder
* 4 teaspoons dried parsley
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1 teaspoon celery salt
* 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 2 cubes chicken bouillon
* 1 bay leaf
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1. In an eight quart stock pot, add rinsed black beans, water, ham, onion, celery, carrots, diced tomatoes, minced garlic, garlic powder, parsley, salt, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon cubes, bay leaf, pepper, mustard, cayenne pepper, oregano and thyme. Cover and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Discard bay leave and serve.
(And I suppose if you don't like it spicy you can just omit the cayenne pepper :c)
****NOTE***** I did the quick soak on the beans by filling a pot with water, adding the beans and bringing them to a rapid boil. Boil for 2 minutes and let sit covered for an hour. Then I rinsed them, and put them in the crock pot with more water, and the other ingredients listed above. I hope it's done by dinner time....it's now 4:05 and it's simmering away. Dinner may be late tonight if the beans aren't soft enough...and from what I hear, this soup is better the next day! (Serve with corn bread!!)
****After Dinner Update****
Jeff and I enjoyed the soup immensely. DH, on the other hand, proceeded to open up a can of chicken noodle soup, heat it in the microwave and had THAT as his dinner instead.
Next time I make this...I think I will leave out the 2 tsp of plain salt. I think it was salty enough with the boullion, the celery salt, and the salt that is already in the ham, and then just salt it to taste when it is about done. Other than that, it was awesome!
Quipped by Bonnie K Hunter at 3:52 PM