Friday, April 20, 2012

Mexican Bean Soup

Along our journey of eating more whole foods, my precious peas are trying many new recipes.  One of the more recent ones was from the West Ladies, Homestead Blessings Cookbook; Mexican Bean Soup.  This is an amazing cookbook.  I got the cookbook for our daughter, Anne, for Christmas and since then we've tried several recipes; Better Than Carrot Cake Muffins and Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookies.

I quickly realized the other day that if all I do is "pin" recipes and ideas onto my pinterest page, trying nothing, then what really have I gained?   The least I can do is to share my trials, errors and/or successes.   So be ready, I plan on reporting the "testing out"  of my pinterest pins and new recipes that we are experimenting with.  But, back to the Mexican Bean Soup. . . . .

Mexican Bean Soup

2/3 cup dried pinto beans (soaked over night) 
2/3 cup dried red kidney beans (soaked over night)
2 TBSP dried parsley
1 TBSP chilli powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
6 cubes chicken bouillon (No MSG)
1 cup wagon wheel pasta, uncooked
1/2 cup brown or wild rice

Rinse beans after soaking over night.  Place in a large stockpot with 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat.  Let sit for 1 hour.  Drain beans and return to pot.  Add 8 cups of water and contents of flavor packet.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until beans are tender.  Stir in rice and bring to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Uncover and stir in pasta and 1/2 c water.  Simmer 10 minutes.     Makes 8 - 10 servings

Quick Note:  I did not use pinto beans as we did not have any, so I used black beans instead.  I also used homemade chicken stock instead of the chicken bouillon.  I also used regular whole wheat pasta.

I wish that I could paint a rose colored picture of this recipe, but even with these small substitutions, the verdict rang in that it was just okay- not a keeper recipe to cook each week.  Dear hubby said that it needed some kind of acid base, like crushed tomatoes and some type of meat (he's a tried and true meat and potatoes man with EVERY meal - I'd love to change that about him, but changing a man should be left for another post).  The girls turned their noses up to the soup and pushed all the beans off to the side.

I think we'll try the recipe again with some of the suggestions that dear hubby offered up and see what results we get.  As I said before, this is a journey and sometimes along the way we stumble, but what a blessing that we can try again tomorrow with another recipe.

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