Saturday, September 7, 2013

Weekend Cooking: Soup's On!

At last.  The days are finally cooler, and the nights have been downright chilly. Yesterday morning, with the temperature under 40 degrees, I knew soup weather had finally arrived. The only question was whether to make an old favorite or try something new.

I opted for the latter and pulled out one of my favorite slow cooker cookbooks, Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O'Dea. Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup sounded appealing and, since all the ingredients were on hand, I decided to give it a try. Here's the recipe as it appears in the cookbook, but you can also find it here on Stephanie's blog, A Year of Slow Cooking.



SALSA CHICKEN AND BLACK BEAN SOUP

The Ingredients:

--1 cup dried black beans (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
--1 pound boneless, skinless chicken pieces
--4 cups chicken broth
--1 (16 ounce) jar prepared salsa
--1 cup frozen corn
--1 cup sliced mushrooms
--1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
--1/2 cup sour cream (to stir in at the end)
--shredded cheddar cheese, avocado slices, cilantro (optional garnishes)

The Directions:

Use a 4 quart slow cooker. If you're using dry beans, soak them overnight. Drain and rinse the beans, and put into the stoneware. Add chicken, broth, and salsa, then add the corn, mushrooms, and cumin. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or high for 5 to 6 hours.  If you'd like to thicken the broth (I did), you can use an immersion blender (I love that thing!) to blend a bit of the beans and chicken. If you don't have one, scoop out 2 cups of the soup and carefully blend in a traditional blender. Stir the mixture back into the soup. Mix in the sour cream before serving, and garnish with shredded cheese, avocado slices, and cilantro if desired.
*********

My notes:
I used a larger slow cooker.
I love black beans, and added 3 cans instead of 2.
I used fresh, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces.
I used Tostitos medium salsa.
Reduced fat sour cream worked fine.
To mix in the sour cream, slowly add a cup or two of hot liquid to the sour cream in a bowl. Then gradually add that mixture back into the crock pot filled with hot soup, stirring constantly. This will help prevent the sour cream from curdling.

Our verdict:
We loved this soup! I'll be making it on a regular basis this fall and winter.




While looking around Stephanie's blog, I noticed that she has a new cookbook coming out later this month, 365 Slow Cooker Suppers. It will be her first cookbook to include color photographs and will surely be my next cookbook purchase. I won't even bother to preview and test a library copy.








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50 comments:

  1. Mmmm. Sounds delicious! Fresh mushrooms or canned? I have to start using the slow cooker soon!

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    Replies
    1. Laurie C - I used the fresh baby bella mushrooms I had on hand, but I'm sure canned would work, too.

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  2. I am so making this! It looks way easier than my usual recipe!

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    1. Jill - I can't get over how easy and delicious this soup is!

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  3. That looks like the perfect fall soup! We're still hot this week, but I'll keep it in mind for when the temperatures drop a bit.

    Joy's Book Blog

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    1. Joy - I may have spoken to soon about the fall weather... it's still cool today, but we're back to the upper 80's by Tuesday!

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  4. Slow cookers are certainly the way to go with ease and keeping the kitchen cool. Very nice bowl of soup there!

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    1. Tina - I love slow cooker, and actually have two different sizes!

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  5. So lucky - we are still three weeks or so away from the first cool weather. I don't think I could do soup right now, but it does look/sound delicious, and I'll keep the recipe in mind too. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Lisa - I just love this cooler weather... it's even more refreshing just to breathe! But our temps will be all over the place again this week. They're predicting upper 80's by midweek (warm even in summer for us!)

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  6. Slow cooker soup - great idea. I haven't ever used black beans though...

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    1. Carole - Black beans are a staple around here :)

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  7. Love the looks of this stuff and especially appreciate the pantry-friendly ingredients. Next rainy day that will be hitting my soup bowl. Linda

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    1. Linda - It's definitely a pantry-friendly recipe! I like having a few of those in my repertoire:)

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  8. I can't wait for soup season- thanks for this, I'm pinning it right now.

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    1. Diane - Once the weather turns cooler, I always have soup ready!

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  9. Oh, that looks good. I'm very tempted to get a slow cooker ... I just borrowed the Cook's Illustrated slow cooker books to look through.

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    1. Audrey - You really NEED to get a slow cooker!

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  10. It won't be long before it's soup weather down here. That looks delicious!

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    1. Kathy - My mother was here for lunch yesterday and she loved it, too!

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  11. I love soups but I can't stand beans of any sort, unless they're fresh, green beans lol. I even leave them out of minestrone. It sounds delicious, minus the beans ;)

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    1. Teddyree - LOL! Beans are an acquired taste for me. I used to hate them when I was a kid, but I love them now... especially black beans :)

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  12. Yum! I love making a big pot of soup and having leftovers for days. This one looks very tasty and easy.

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    1. Anbolyn - Me, too! I try to make soup at the beginning of the week and have it for lunch (and sometimes dinner) for days!

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  13. Send that cooler weather our way! I've been wanting to walk in the mornings but by the time I'm ready to go it's already too hot for baby. It'll be this way into October. Soup sounds delicious and I have most of the ingredients on hand as well. Hmmmm.... Yummy!

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    1. Trish - I'll be envying your weather come January... this soup is really delicious!

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  14. I absolutely love my slow cooker -- but I haven't heard of this book! I pulled "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook" off the shelf this weekend as well. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

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    1. Col - Most of the recipes in the cookbook can be found on her blog... take a look. I rarely buy cookbooks without pictures, but made an exception for Make It Fast, Cook It Slow. So happy her new book will have plenty of photos!

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  15. This soups sounds sooooo good. But, then, I could eat soup pretty much every day.

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    1. Beth F - So could I... and I practically do during the winter!

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  16. Oh, yum!! I love the sound of this recipe and have been quite eager to start making soups, chili, stew, etc. It's still far too hot here, though. High 90s this past week and maybe just as bad next week. I shouldn't complain, though, since we had a fairly mild summer. But about the soup... Mushrooms? Really? Everything else sounds like it goes together, but the mushrooms are a bit of a surprise. I do love 'em, so I'll trust the recipe. :) Hope my crockpot is large enough. I really need to ask Santa for a fancy, new one this Christmas. Maybe one that I can program.

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    1. Les - I had the same thought about the mushroom, but added them anyway. Don't think they really added much to this particular recipe. If I don't have them on hand next time, I wouldn't make a special trip to the store.

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  17. Sounds delicious! I love black beans too and am always trying to find more uses for my crock pot.

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    1. Amy - I'm still searching for the perfect black bean soup recipe. The one I use now is from Martha Stewart, but if I could find a good one for the crock pot, it would make me even happier :)

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  18. immersion blenders are the BEST especially for soups! Oh yea, and smoothies. Ttis looks delish and I will make my hub try it soon.

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    1. Care - I hardly remember life before my immersion blender ;-)

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  19. You have made me crave soup! I'm glad soup weather is here again :)

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    1. Sam - Soups are just one more reason to love fall!

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  20. This soup sounds delicious and right up my ally. I will not only plan to print the recipe, but I think I will check out the cookbook as well :)

    We are not quite into soup weather here in the Midwest... today is 97 degrees with a heat index well above 100... but it is coming soon, I know it!

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    1. Molly - We're on the way to 90 degrees today, so I may have spoken too soon about soup weather! I hope you like this recipe.

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  21. Black bean soup is simmering on the stove as we speak. Yum. Mine is lacking chicken or mushrooms, but it's still pretty darn yummy.

    Glad you're getting soup weather!

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    1. Picky - I love black bean soup, but our soup weather has disappeared. We're looking at a couple of 90 degree days ahead...

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  22. This sounds delicious! I love soups when it gets a bit cooler, and I especially love black beans and southwesty flavors. Yum!

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    1. Andi - During the fall and winter, I like to make a big pot of soup and have it for lunch all week long!

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  23. Yum! Boneless skinless chicken thighs are my new favorite ingredient. Such a great flavor, and easy to prepare.

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  24. This sounds really delicious--I love making soup, and usually do on Sundays in the Fall and Winter. One thing that surprised me, though, was the mushrooms. I don't think of mushrooms as being part of the southwest flavor profile and I don't think they're used much in southwest cooking.

    Sounds like they tasted fine and blended well with the other ingredients.

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  25. That soup looks delicious! Our temps haven't dropped that much yet, but soup weather is coming. We'll have to try this one.

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  26. I've printed this out to try this weekend!!

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    1. Stacy - Hope it's a hit with your family, too!

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