Snowed-in soup problem

14 Dec

Kellie is my college roommate. She’s also a journalist and likes to cook, and that’s a good thing because she’s recently found herself living in a small town in central California without many of the food options she was used to in Los Angeles, or in Shang hi where she lived before.

So Kel was snowed in the other night and wanted to make a bean soup because she had a bunch to use and couldn’t get to the store. She called me, which is usual, but I’ve never really made bean soup and so I had her call mom.

She did a post and here it is:

As a winter storm approached, my thoughts turned to dinner. A hearty bean soup seemed perfect for the chilly night, but I wasn’t sure how to make it. As usual, I turned to Colleen for advice, but for once, she was perplexed. “I don’t know,” she said. “You’ll have to ask my mom.”  So I, too, called Maureen for advice. Here’s what she told me.

Snowed-in bean soup:


Two cups of beans, lentils and peas

Cup of crushed grape tomatoes

1 cup each: celery, carrots and yellow onion

9 cups chicken stock

1 tsp salt

Several cloves garlic

Several bay leaves

1.       Soak the bean mixture in water for several hours then drain

2.       Sauté the celery, carrots and onion in olive oil until soft; sprinkle with salt and add garlic

3.        Add the bean mixture

4.       Crush the tomatoes and add in (alternatively, you can use tomato paste)

5.       After about ten minutes, add chicken stock and bay leaves and let simmer

I had limited supplies in my kitchen, and, with snow on its way, I didn’t want to leave. But  Maureen offered some ideas for next time: Add salsa for a spicy kick; try flavoring the broth with smoky ham or pork; or even use my own chicken stock. Maureen’s creative attitude was inspiring, and I ended up adding a few of my own touches. Before serving, I added some baby spinach leaves and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Delicious!

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