Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bean Soup and a List

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 
Matthew 6:26

{I don't have any snappy photos that go with my topic today...and besides, bean soup just isn't pretty}

The table is rarely cleared like this, but I'm trying to keep it that way as often as possible. Trying to keep it simple...but creative projects must have their place - for a time, anyway. EG made the papier mache apple and bowl at school. MK made the candle at school.

Starting first with some of God's, good, kind, undeserved mercies...knowing that sometimes His mercies are tender and sometimes they are severe. Jesus, for the grace to praise and trust You in both!

630 food

631 food that is readily available

632 food that is nutritious and readily available

633 EG jumping in, meeting a need this morning by starting to make lunches for me

634 cold gray days


I never talk about food here, which is funny because I really care about food. Trying not to say I love food. So I'll say I care about it. I enjoy it. Creating meals, playing with flavors, and especially making treats - yes, food is fun. I don't have much time for experimentation or complicated dishes in this season, but when extra good meals come together, especially if they are simple, it is so satisfying to me.

And, as I've regressed further and further away from the whole meal-planning thing (being a planner type person, I prefer meal-planning, but oh well is all I can say for the past....long time), I like seeing how I've gotten better at stocking the pantry with staples that work for us so that even when there's no days-ahead plan, there can still be a good meal.

The staples that are keeping us afloat these days, keeping us from not getting takeout too often?

Here's a little list:

wheat pasta - several shapes and sizes
dry black beans
dry red beans
dry 15 bean soup mix (sans the scary flavor pack)
dry white beans
corn chips (we eat lotsa nachos)
tomato sauce/tomato paste
brown rice
bag of shredded cheese (the Mexican blend gets a lot of mileage with a lot of different dishes)
a few onions in the fridge
minced bottled garlic in the fridge
a whole lot of spices in the cabinet
meats in the freezer

Much of this I pick up at Costco, which means I don't run out too fast, which is a treat. Eight cans of Rotel might last us...2 or 3 weeks, I'd say.

And, I LOVE my crock pot! We graduated to the big one a few months ago and I am so pleased to be able to make a large roast in it, or a huge soup that will last us more than one meal.

All that said - I really sat down to write about the bean soup we ate for the last two suppers. How satisfying to literally throw some things in the crock pot - took about 15 minutes - put the lid on, and come back and eat it 8 hours later for supper! It's been cold here, too, so good hearty soup has been just the thing.

So here's my "recipe:"

bag of 15 bean soup beans (as mentioned above, I toss the flavor pack)
2 cans of Rotel
1 onion very coarsely chopped, because I'm lazy and hate fine dicing
1 red bell pepper that was going south in my fridge, coarsely, rapidly chopped
carton of chicken broth
a few tablespoons of the bottled minced garlic
ground pepper
beef soup bones (mine were frozen solid when I put them in at 9am)
water - enough to let the beans do their thing

Stir it up, put the lid on, crank it up to high.

Serve with shredded cheese on top, if desired (we do desire).
And with cornbread and butter (though mine was not right this time. Don't know what I did wrong.)

The soup turned out wonderfully - rich, flavorful, good for us, and simple, simple, simple!

I want to try it with some kind of sausage in it sometime...

How about you? Got any no-fail easy-quick recipes or pantry staple ideas I'm missing?!
how I got the overhead photo of the clean table:
 overhead photo of the more normal appearance of our table...actually, it's usually worse!


  1. You crack me up... standing on the table. Yeah, our table looks very lived on most of the time too! The fingerprints, oh the fingerprints.

    Your soup sounds delish and easy, I love that. I made an excellent beef stew this week that we all enjoyed, even baby! It was simple and easy, and a great way to use some of the many pounds of "stew meat" that we have from our 1/4 cow purchase. I'll send you the recipe, or post it.

  2. I hopped over from have a fun blog and a beautiful family! And you've inspired me with your bean soup recipe. I picked up some soup beans from the Sunflower Market bulk section this evening, and I have some leftover ham in the freezer...I know what we're having on Monday!

    God bless~


  3. Yes, Christian, fill me in on the stew, though with our cow purchase, none of our meat is "stew meat"...only bigger cuts. There is a surprising amount of meat on the soup bones, though, and it's really tender and yummy...and I have lots of soup bones! Just gotta be sure you fish out the bones/other stuff before serving, of course!

    Abby, thanks for coming over! Great idea about buying the beans in bulk. We certainly NEED a bulk amount!

  4. I just came across your blog a few days ago and decided to save it to my favorites. I love the scriptures you begin each post with. Thank you for those. I'll be tuning in regularly to see what new photos you're taking and what God has layed on your heart to share. I admire you for what you do. It encourages people like me, a 25 year old mother of two in Amarillo, Texas. I love technology. :)