Recipe – Mexican white bean soup

Okay, I’m not sure how “mexican” this soup is – though it did have chorizo in it, which is quite often mexican. But the recipe I started with was called “Mexican white bean soup”, so there ya go. I found it here – I think Better Homes and Gardens recipes are great starting points, though I don’t always stick precisely to a recipe. (My friends would be laughing right now if they were reading over my shoulder – “you don’t *usually* follow a recipe? Do you EVER follow a recipe”?”

Mexican white bean soup adapted from BHG recipe

So yes, I modified the original recipe quite a bit – I’m linking it there so you can compare and use more of their version if you want!

Here’s approximately what I did – I don’t measure, so everything is guesswork. But it’s also very forgiving.

Start with a quart or so of chicken or vegetable stock – I had some in the freezer (chicken bones, veggies, heavy on onions, carrots, zucchini bits, and some broccoli stems, which they say shouldn’t be in stock but oh well). To the stock I added 6 good-sized white potatoes, skins left on, diced into approx. 1/2″ pieces. Cook the potaties in the stock for about an hour or maybe more, till the potatoes are soft.

Meanwhile in another pan (iron skillet would be best) I add a cup or more of finely-diced carrots (shredded or grated – very small), some finely grated white cabbage, diced onions, and some shredded zucchini. Nobody knows those veggies are in there, except the carrots – they just add substance and more vitamins. Cook them all in a bit of olive oil till they’re very soft, then add to the potato/stock mixture.

When the potatoes are soft, add at least a couple cans, or up to a pound, of white beans – that are cooked through. There will be a *lot* of veggies in a relatively small amount of stock.

If you have an immersion blender, this is the time to start blending. I still don’t have one – so I took out my handy hand mixer. Using a sieve or slotted spoon, scoop a good portion of the the potato/bean mixture and place in a deep bowl. Then start mixing. No, it’s not as good as the blender – but it does a pretty good job. Keep adding more of the veggies from the soup pot, and pretty soon you’ve got a thick blend to put back in the pot. It’s not a fancy way to do it – but it works.

For seasoning, I took a hank of chorizo (maybe a half pound), removed the casing, and sauteed it on medium heat till it released most of the grease. Wipe some of that out of the skillet, then take the browned bits from the pan and scoop those into your soup. Add some Rotel-type spicy tomato mixture, or just add some diced tomatoes and jalapenos.

Let the soup cook a bit longer to give the flavors a chance to get acquainted – a half hour or more. See if it needs more seasoning.

Filling, cheap, healthy and tasty – this is a good recipe, to start from…!

Boycotting Smithfield Foods And Smithfield Farms and WHY

It’s all over the web right now – the Humane Society worked undercover at a farm owned by Smithfield Foods, probably the main pork producer in this country. The Yahoo News article can be found here:

Undercover investigation of Smithfield Foods reveals factory farm horrors. If you enjoy eating pork occasionally, you might not want to read any further. But you probably should –

And yes, you probably should. I did. I’m writing to Smithfield Foods to let them know why I’m boycotting all of their products. And am researching right now to find local farmers who sell retail groceries (at farmers markets and such) as well as to stores. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while – now I’ve gotten a kick in the butt.

I’m not a vegan – leaning more that way as time goes by, but not yet. I just don’t want to support companies that torture animals, every day, all year long, because it makes them a little more money.

I’ll pay more. I’ll sleep better. Support local farmers!

There will be recipes :-)

Once a week – or maybe more – I’m going to add a recipe here. One that I’ve actually tried. Or even better, I’m going to invite YOU to send me a recipe you love – that way I can learn some new goodies!