Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mexican-style bean and vegetable soup

We had a long day at the annual family picnic, but of course people are hungry when you get home...so what could we make that was quick and filling? Soup! from leftovers!

My nieces Birdy and Savvy eating the Mexican soup.
My nieces came to stay with me for a few days and they are Food Network junkies. The 16-year-old is getting to be quite a good cook. She says her specialties are Abondigas soup and Creamy Tomato Tortellini. As you can tell, her palate is pretty advanced for a kid. Alton Brown's influence is all encompassing! The 13-year-old is no slouch, either. Good job, Mommy, on raising kids who like to eat real food!

So after a successful day of barbecue beef burgers, turkey burgers and grilled portabello mushrooms by my husband Lee, we needed a light pick-me-up to tide us over for the evening. I had some bacon, leftover sauteed squash and corn, and some stuff in cans. I figured I would crisp up some diced bacon and cook the onions in the bacon grease. Then I let my niece take over. She opened a large can (28 oz) of kidney beans and diced tomatoes and poured it into the pot along with the sauteed squash and corn. Now the fun part: seasoning! I offered her my array of chili powders and she picked the red chili powder and the chipotle powder. She added some flaked oregano and granulated garlic, plus salt and black pepper. We tasted it and decided it needed more salt and more spice, so she added more chili powder. The next taste was more satisfying and we declared it done. The soup was served in large bowls and topped with shredded Mexican cheese and a dollop of sour cream.


4 strips of bacon, diced and browned
1/2 onion, diced
1 large (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 large (28 oz) can kidney, pinto, or black beans
2 cups chicken broth
salt 1 tsp
black pepper 1/2 tsp
garlic powder 1 tsp
chili powders, 2 tsp of any variety

Brown the bacon and cook the onions in the bacon grease. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, beans and seasonings. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle on some shredded Mexican cheese.  Makes about 8 bowls of soup.


I just had to share the hit dessert that my daughter Jayne made for the picnic. I found the recipe idea on Pinterest. It was jello sand cups with Blue Raspberry jello for the water, a layer of cool whip, then cookies crumbled and mixed with vanilla pudding for the sand. Each one was topped with an umbrella, a beach ball jaw breakers, a fruit strip gum beach blanket, and a teddy graham sun bather. Fun, fun, fun!


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