Thursday, November 18, 2010

black bean soup & drop biscuits

The other night my mom asked me what I was planning to make for dinner. She thought my idea, black bean soup, sounded fantastic too so she made it the same night. I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself  considering that: 1. my mom is the best cook I know (no, seriously!) and 2. she's been cooking for quite a bit longer than I have, but all that to say...her soup turned out much better! I'm going to share her recipe instead of mine :)  (they were almost the same, but I like that hers called for more black beans, half of them pureed, and less rotel) Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients (for soup):
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T olive oil
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup chopped celery (optional)
4 ears corn, kernels removed
1 orange, juiced
2 26 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can mild rotel tomatoes
1 vegetable bouillon cube
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin

Directions (for soup):
Heat olive oil in large pot. Add onion and saute till beginning to soften. Add garlic, carrots and corn (and celery). Stir in tomatoes and orange juice. Process one 26 oz. can black beans in food processor with a little water, pulsing till chopped but not too mushy. Add all beans, vegetable bouillon, water to desired consistency and season. Cook till carrots are slightly done and soup is very hot.
*Serve garnished with mandarin orange segments, avocado slices and greek yogurt or sour cream.

I made these drop biscuits (from Cooks Illustrated) to go with our soup! They were delicious, if I do say so myself :)  

Ingredients (for biscuits):
2 c all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t sugar
3/4 t table salt
1 c  cold buttermilk (I used non-fat)
8 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus 2 T butter for brushing biscuits

Directions (for biscuits):
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and 8 Tablespoons melted butter in medium bowl, sitrring until butter forms small clumps.
Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl. Using greased 1/4 cup dry measure, scoop level amounts of batter and drop onto parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Makes 12 biscuits.
Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes. Brush biscuit tops with remaining 2 T of melted butter. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Curried Pumpkin Mushroom Soup

One of my favorite things about cold weather is soup. I really love a good cup of soup!
My husband, on the other hand, doesn't get quite as much joy from a cup of soup for dinner as I do.
What does he mean "soup's not a real meal?" :)

Even he loves this one...

(I'm back to revise this post a year later. I made this soup this weekend for a little "fall party".  It was a  big hit and it's just so easy. I made a few tiny changes.)

 1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 c chopped onion
2 T flour
2 T butter
 3 c organic low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
2 T honey or agave nectar
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t curry powder
1/2 t salt
 1 12 oz. can fat free evaporated milk (OR 1 pint half-and-half (fat free organic))
black pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a stockpot over medium heat; add the mushrooms and onions, and saute for 10 minutes. Stir in flour and curry; add broth and stir for 1 minute.
Add the pumpkin, honey or agave and seasonings, and mix well. Stir over medium-high heat until the soup comes to a simmer. Reduce heat and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the half-and-half and heat through without boiling. Serve immediately.
Top with chives or toasted pumpkin seeds and serve with warm, toasty bread.

It's like Fall in a cup!

s'more cups!

Several months ago my friend, Sarah, introduced me to these delicious (and horribly addicting!)  gooey chocolatey crumbly treats!! Perfect for a holiday party, or a shower, or a Friday night..or a birthday party...or Thanksgiving...or just cuz. catch my drift? they're great anytime! :)

7 whole graham crackers (I use low fat honey graham crackers)
¼ cup powdered sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted
4 bars chocolate candy (or 2 KING size bars), divided
(I use dark chocolate Hershey bars. You will use 2 bars for the middle layer of chocolate and 2 bars to dip the s’more cups in…the final step) 
12 large marshmallows
Deluxe Mini Muffin pan
Yield: 24 cups

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place graham crackers in food processor and blend until fine (or place in large plastic bag and crush)
3. Add graham cracker crumbs to melted butter. Add powdered sugar to butter and graham cracker mixture. Stir.
4. Put small scoop of graham cracker, sugar, butter mixture into bottom of each (24) cup of muffin pan.  5.Press crumbs to form shallow cups.
6.Bake 4-5 minutes
7. Break 2 candy bars into rectangles and place one rectangle into each cup when you remove from overn
8.Cut marshmallow in half crosswise using kitchen shears and place one marshmallow half, cut-side down, into each cup
9. Return to oven 1-2 minutes
10. Let cool for 15 minutes
11. Carefully remove cups from pan. Cool completely.
12.  Break remaining candy bars and place in microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute to 1.5 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every 20-30 seconds.
13. Dip the top of each marshmallow in melted chocolate. Turn top-side up and let stand 40 minutes-1 hour or until set. (I’ve never waited this long before I eat one… They’re too hard to resist! )