So, I was looking for colorful legumes to use as vase filler (long story) and I bought a 14 ingredient bean soup mix to fit the bill. But it didn't, as I discovered upon opening the bag. Turns out some of its beans and grains were minuscule.
Not to worry – I could actually use it for it's intended purpose – soup. Nothing is easier than soup. Some savory, some solid, some liquid = soup.
Use what you got – I did and now have soup for 50! (Maybe an exaggeration).
17 ounce mixed dried beans with lentils & barley
Large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
14 -ish oz can chopped or cherry tomatoes
Salt & pepper
8 cups water or stock
Heat 1-2 tablespoons oil in large stockpot. Soften onion 3-5, add carrots, celery and garlic. Soften 3-5 minutes. Add tomatoes, bean mix, bay leaf and at least 6 cups of water. Being to a boil and simmer for at least 2-3 hours, adjusting salt & pepper & adding water along the way. Mine took 4 hours for the beans to get good & soft with about 8 cups of water. Still, I finished the laundry! Remove bay leaf.
Eat – B
Mine is not as pretty as the recipe in the October Bon Appetit (I have so little patience for browning!). BUT, it is super tasty and a great alternative to any of your other chicken standbys. Read the recipe carefully. (Click here to read it) It takes as much time as predicted which is more than you might think. Best for days when you are not behind the dinner 8 ball 🙂
Don't forget the rice. It's the perfect sauce sponge.
Eat – B
The love of my life prefers veggies with flavor. And this one fits the bill. I've made versions inside and out. But today the stove had to support an already crowded grill. Any onion, shallot, or garlic (!) will work, but the red is pretty.
1 red onion, halved and sliced into half moons
Two giant handfuls green beans, trimmed
1 pint small or cherry tomatoes, halved if they're large
In large skillet, slicked with olive oil, brown & soften red onion. Add green beans and season with salt and pepper. Let them get a sheen and some color. Add a few tablespoons of water. Raise the heat and mostly cover (let the steam escape) until water is gone (5-ish minutes). Add tomatoes and cook until skins are slightly roasted and juices flow. Toss, adjust seasoning and serve.
Dig in & live longer – B
Place 1 1/2 lbs of white fish fillet (cod was on sale) on foil. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and sprinkle with fresh herbs (here oregano & thyme, could be dill, parsley, chive). Salt & pepper. Lemon slices. Wrap and place in 375 oven for 10-15 minutes or on medium grill or coals.
Open & eat when it flakes.
World's fastest fish dinner – B
So I got two new boy dogs (see photo, below) and I have had less cooking time lately. Not to worry. Necessity being the mother of invention, I threw everything together in a hash this week that I think came out pretty well.
Start with leftover potatoes – if I steam them for anything, I always make extra for a frittata…or in this case, hash. Start crisping them in a tablespoon or two of veg oil.
Add leftover caramelized cumin & garlic peppers and onions (I always make extras of these, try them on grilled cheese!). Then chop and add leftover vegetables like asparagus or green squash. Add the week's steak, or chicken or pork or sausage or tasty tofu.
Let everything meld & get some crunch. Stir in scrambled eggs if desired.
Dinner is done-B