Tuesday, October 13, 2009

3 Ingredient Black Bean Soup

An amazing soup - full of flavor and 3 main ingredients. The key is the salsa-as it contains so much of what you need-tomatoes, garlic, onion, etc. To make it a full meal I put a mound of cooked white rice in the middle of the bowl and top with any or all of the following: crumbled cooked chorizo, chopped fresh cilantro, shredded jack cheese, sliced avocado and a dollop of sour cream. Try it-you'll love it!

Black Bean Soup

2 cups tomato based salsa (jar or fresh)
2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups chicken broth

Heat on low in big pot. Puree half of mixture-this holds it together and gives creamy texture. Serve with above suggestions.

Monday, September 21, 2009

On 5 ingredients or less...

Fall is right around the corner (even though it's close to 100 degrees today) which means time for soup and pumpkins. When my friend Mitzi told us she made pumpkin soup-I turned up my nose. Then I tasted it-delicious! It has a silky richness and the bit of curry gives it a spark without being overwhelming. Most items you'll have in your cupboard, and it literally just takes minutes to prepare. With crusty bread and a crisp Chardonnay it makes a light, satisfying autumn dinner.

Pumpkin Soup

4 T butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 t curry powder
3 cans chicken broth
1 29 oz can pumpkin
2 cups heavy cream

Saute onions in butter until clear. Add curry powder and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat-stir in pumpkin and broth. Season with a dash of white pepper (and dash of nutmeg if desired). You can add salt if using low sodium broth. Simmer for 10 minutes, then stir in cream. Cook for 5 more minutes. Puree until smooth (I use immersion blender) and creamy. Serves 6-8. I drizzle with a little creme fraiche (Trader Joe's is the best buy) or sprinkle with fresh chives.

Friday, September 18, 2009



Ignore "food fads" and stupid sayings-quiche is easy, looks impressive and tastes delicious! Use this one basic recipe and using items you most likely already have make it economical.

Basic recipe:

1 pie crust (I use Pillsbury pre-made in a box-they last for a few weeks and are cheapest at Grocery Outlet)
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup half and half (you can use cream for richer flavor, and whole milk for milder effect)
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheese
salt and white pepper to taste
2 cups fillings (cooked meats and/or vegetables)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Place and press crust in 9" pie pan, quiche pan or spring form pan. Put cooled filling in crust. Top with cheese. Mix eggs and cream together, adding a little salt and white pepper. Pour over cheese and vegetables. Bake for 20 minutes, then lower temperature to 350 degrees for another 20 minutes. Quiche is done when custard is set and puffy. Crust should be golden brown. Let cool about 10 minutes before removing and serving.
Serves 4-8 people.

Quiche combination ideas:

*Broccoli, sharp cheddar cheese, onion and bacon
*Zucchini, sausage, green onion, jack cheese
*Crab, leeks, gruyere cheese (or any swiss)
*Bacon, onion and swiss cheese
*Chorizo, red onion, jack and cheddar blend

I always lightly saute onions and vegetables - the best quiche I ever made was grabbing every vegetable out of the fridge (a little spinach, shredded carrots, onions, zucchini) and snippets of 3 kinds of cheese. I threw in some leftover ham, mixed part cream and part milk and it was fantastic. It's a great way to use up some of this and that!