Chorizo Butternut Black Bean Soup

How’s that for a title, eh?!  And that isn’t even mentioning the leek, or cabbage, or garlic…this soup is just CRAMMED with good stuff.

 

This soup also makes me laugh.  You want to know why?  Well…it came out of this beautiful book (I don’t think I’ve showed you this one yet, also from my favorite store 5 Below…which means I probably paid $4 for the thing!)

 

100 Best Fresh Soups

(If you are interested in it and don’t have a 5 Below, it’s on Amazon, I just checked!)

Anyways, back to my laughing…you see, I SAY this recipe came out of that book…but it was originally Sausage and Red Cabbage Soup…with potatoes and black eyed peas and cream…

Then one thing led to another…and now it is nothing like the original!  But I must still give credit, because this beautiful soup never would have happened without the inspiration of this lovely little book!

It started with the potatoes… Mr. Rodgers can’t have potatoes!  My first thought was “Well, I can just use sweet potatoes…wait!  Mr. Rodgers can’t have sweet potatoes either…what is kind of like a sweet potato???  Butternut squash!  We’ll try that.”  Step one in the transformation.

Then came the black eyed peas.  They are probably fine…but the husband has a specific list of what beans/legumes he can and cannot have…some are “eat every chance you get,” like black beans.  Some are “in moderation,” like chick peas.  So I just wasn’t sure about the black eyed peas, I’d hate to make something he couldn’t eat, or would be a bit of a compromise.  So I decided what the heck, I have a pantry full of black beans, we’ll use those instead.

Then I went to 3 or 4 stores looking for sausages without sugar or corn syrup or dextrose…NOTHING!  So annoying!!  But I grabbed some chorizo for a meatloaf recipe I will make later…NO SUGAR!  Hmmmm…I’ll use that for my soup too!

Then I went to add my almond milk instead of cream…and it was expired.  I guess this will be a brothy soup.

And there you have it.  Soup transformation.  I was so nervous because of all the changes…but this soup was BEAUTIFUL!  I can’t even describe how great the flavors worked together, and how comforting it was!  And I have to tell you…the day I made this was just the best day ever!!  I will tell you more about it in my pictures!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Grassfed Butter
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Leek, Sliced (I had never used a leek before!  Life changing!  YouTube will show you how to cut them if its your first time!)
  • 6 C Chicken Stock
  • 1 Small Butternut Squash, Cubed (About 1 lb)
  • 1/2 lb Chorizo (or more…it was enough, but I might add more if I make it again to be more “paleo”)
  • 1/4 Large Red Cabbage, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • Salt and Pepper

 

And here’s how you do it!

Note:  I used the chorizo in a way I am sure it was not intended, but I loved the outcome!  If you prefer to use it as a ground meat, feel free to brown it up before hand and add it back in right before the broth!  I wanted larger bites of meat, so I cooked it like you would a dumpling….and it worked!  I was so excited!!

  1. Prep all your veggies!  It’s easiest to have them all ready in bowls so you can dump as you go…but if you prefer to chop as you go that’s up to you!
  2. Melt your oil/butter in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook about 3 minutes, until starting to get tender
  3. Add the leek and cook another 3 minutes or so.  Doesn’t it smell good?!
  4. Stir in the broth, add the butternut squash.  Now comes my crazy chorizo cooking method.  Since it came in a tubular shape, I cut it into small bite sized pieces and dropped it into the soup like dumplings and let it boil!  And it worked!  I was left with little chorizo bites throughout the soup!  Yay!!  Some oil from the chorizo will rise to the top of the soup…if this bothers you, use a spoon to remove it!  I left it though and it was perfectly fine.
  5. Add salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Stir in your red cabbage and black beans and cook 5-10 more minutes until the cabbage is starting to get tender.  Check your squash and make sure it is tender (but preferably not falling apart).  Spoon into bowls and top with some fresh cracked pepper!!

 

 

Peectures!

 

Chorizo Soup 1

The great gathering of the ingredients!

Chorizo Soup 2

Prepped and ready!

Chorizo Soup 3

Sauté onions and garlic for 3 minutes, add leeks and repeat!

Chorizo Soup 4

Add broth…

Chorizo Soup 5

If you’re curious, this is how I cut my chorizo…just little bite size pieces…

Chorizo Soup 6

Add squash and chorizo and simmer for 20-25 minutes…

Chorizo Soup 7

Look at that beautiful color that comes from the chorizo!  Since I had never used it I did a little research, and that red color is from the peppers they use!

Chorizo Soup 8

Add cabbage and black beans, gently stir in, and cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until the cabbage is tender but the squash is not falling apart.

Chorizo Soup 9

Bam!  Scoop into bowls and serve!

Chorizo Soup 10

See my little chorizo meat balls?  Delicious!!

Chorizo Soup 11

I was so pleased with how the flavors played off each other…not to mention all the great textures!

Chorizo Soup 12

Yummy.  I’m sad it’s gone now.  Didn’t last long.

 

 

And now you get to see why I had the best day ever.  You know the first part…I adapted a recipe, took lots of risks, and it was successful!!  Great feeling already!!  Not only that, but I had been instructed to sleep in by my fabulous husband so I felt rested (it’s amazing you should try it!).  Then the sun came out and I got to lay in the grass near my flower bed, eat yummy soup, and spend time with my sweet Jesus.  Lately I have really been trying to cut back on the movies and tv shows, and spend more time just “be-ing.”  Having real moments, be they productive moments, thoughtful moments, “connected with others” moments (I’m bad at that one, Lord help me!),  prayerful moments…let me tell you, it’s only been a few days, and already I notice a difference.  My home is full of peace when I focus on abstaining from distractions and instead just “being.”  You guys should try it.  Aim for moments like these:

 

Chorizo Soup 13

I don’t know why I ever forget how good life can be when you stop to enjoy the weather (all kinds,) to enjoy a good hearty meal, and to talk to my Creator!!  Speaking of…wanna see some of the lovely flowers I got to enjoy on this “best day ever”?

 

Chorizo SOup 14

Pink!

Chorizo Soup 15

Stripey!  I love how full the stripey ones get!

Chorizo SOup 16

And my beautiful sunflower, the only one that has bloomed so far…she’s a survivor…broken nearly in half and still grew up from the ground and bloomed!  There’s gotta be a lesson in that!!

 

Okay, forgive me, this blog is getting way too long.  I will bid you goodnight…I hope you love my soup, and feel inspired to enjoy it in quiet, undistracted peace!!

Breakfast Egg “Muffins”

Good morning!!

Okay, okay, you got me, it’s not morning!  But I tell you what…it WILL be a good morning when you make these!!

See what I did there?  😀

 

Anywho…these little fellows are super fun and cute!  And can even be made the night before to help your family get tasty protein on busy mornings!  That’s how I did it!  I came home from work at like midnight one Saturday night, and was amped up on the caffeine I had downed to get me through a 15 hour shift.  My husband had to be at the church before 7, and I know how stressful Sunday mornings can be for him.  On top of that, he has to resist the free pizza provided for the worship teams.  So I wanted to make sure he had a chance to get a good healthy breakfast in him to hold him over.  Cause let’s just be honest…who wants to wake up at 5 just to cook yourself breakfast?

I, for one, do not!

And so I decided to use my late night energy to make these for him.  They are my own version of Abel James’ “Pizza Muffins.”  I added some greens and beans because Mr. Rodgers is determined to get those with every meal.  And I also added a sauce for a “frosting” of sorts, and changed up the meat because I prefer sausage to pepperoni!  Are you ready for this recipe?!  Let’s do it!

 

Here’s what you need:

MUFFINS:

  • 6 Eggs
  • 4 tsp Coconut Oil, Melted
  • 2 Tbsp Grassfed Butter, Melted
  • 4 Tbsp Coconut Milk (Or Almond)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2/3 C Almond Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Basil
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 C Uncooked Italian Sausage (I used two home made meatballs from my freezer!)
  • 1/4-1/2 C Sundried Tomatoes (Depending on your tastes.  I don’t like them to be too overpowering!)
  • 1/4 C Onion, Diced
  • 1/3 Can Black Beans

PIZZA SAUCE “FROSTING” (Adapted from Budget Savvy Diva)

  • 1 (7 1/2 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 whole bay leaf

 

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Add in your sausage and cook until starting to brown.  I used two home made Italian meatballs I had frozen!  It worked so well!
  3. Add in onion and cook until translucent, stirring often.
  4. Add in beans, sundried tomatoes, and kale.  Cook and stir until kale is wilted and everything is warmed through.  Set aside to cool.
  5. Mix together eggs, coconut oil, butter, coconut milk, and salt.
  6. In a different bowl, mix together flour, spices, and baking powder.
  7. Combine your egg and flour mixture and mix until all is combined smoothly.
  8. Add your cooled meat mixture and fold in.
  9. Pour into a lined muffin pan and cook until done, about 15 minutes.
  10. While muffins are cooking, add all sauce ingredients into a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, letting the flavors infuse until ready to “frost” on top of your eggy meat muffins!  ENJOY!

 

Egg Muffins 1

Egg Muffins 2

Egg Muffins 4

Egg Muffins 5

Egg Muffins 3

Egg Muffins 6]

Egg Muffins 8

Egg Muffins 9

Egg Muffins 10

Egg Muffins 11

Egg Muffins 12

Egg Muffins 13

 

Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper; Entry 1: Chicken Black Bean Tacos with Spicy Chipotle Sauce

You may be wondering about the title of this post.  What the heck do I mean by Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper?!  Good question.  Once upon a time, I was given a can of Chipotle Peppers from my former boss when their family PCSed.  For those of you who don’t live next door to a military base…that basically means they got orders and moved.  Far away from me.  Boo.  BUT this post is not about my self pity, haha!!!  This post is about Chipotle Peppers.

So, I got this can of Chipotle Peppers.  I had only used them sparingly before, when they were called for in a recipe.  I had never experimented with them before.  Quickly I learned that, although the cans are small…they last a long time cause those bad boys be POTENT!  The realization hit me that….this one little can of peppers could be the inspiration for like 5 meals, because you really only need one per meal to get the spicy smoky delcioiusness laced throughout the whole meal!  So, I officially have 3 meals created from one can of peppers, and at least one more I will soon create with the last pepper or two that I can share with you!  How’s that sound?!  Good?!  Good!!  Let’s get down business!

Sidenote…I can’t take credit for a lot of these ideas.  I took a facebook “survey…”, more of me just asking my friends “What’s your favorite recipe with chipotle peppers?!”  Shout out to Laura Yoder for this beauty!!!  🙂

 

So, here’s what you need!!

  • 1 Package tortillas of choice (Because of the healthy nature of my blog, I went with brown rice tortillas.  I discovered corn tortillas seem to have sugar or corn syrup in them…and you all know flour ones are just…not awesome in the health department. ;))
  • 3 Large Chicken Breasts
  • Taco-y blend of seasonings: You can use my favorite home made taco seasoning recipe, or just do what I did…use what was in the pantry.  I went with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin)
  • 1 C Plain Greek Yogurt (ish)
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce
  • Handful fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/2 lb Black Beans
  • 1 C Corn, fresh or frozen
  • Toppings of choice, ie lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, extra cilantro, etc…

 

And here’s how you do it!!!

 

Chipotle Tacos 11Boil your black beans according to package instructions.  If you want to use a can of black beans you can.  I just love how cheap dry beans are.  And that they don’t have that mystery sludge in the bottom, haha!!

Chipotle Tacos 1Assemble your seasonings, really whatever you want for the chicken!!!  You could even use left over chicken if you want!  🙂

Chipotle Tacos 2As you can see, what I did was just cover the breasts in seasoning!  Throw in your oven and cook until done and juices run clear.  It’s going to depend on how big your chicken is, but usually 30-40 minutes should do it!

Chipotle Tacos 7While that cooks, melt some butter in a cast iron skillet…

Chipotle Tacos 8Toss in your corn…

Chipotle Tacos 9And “fry” just a couple minutes, until it is starting to get browned.

Chipotle Tacos 3Now throw your Greek yogurt, Chipotle Pepper, cilantro, and some of the juice from the lime.  Add some salt and pepper, whiz, then taste and adjust.  You may want to start with half a pepper if you don’t want it to be really spicy.  🙂

Chipotle Tacos 4Whiz it until a nice creamy texture and everything is evenly combined.

Chipotle Tacos 5See?  It’s kinda pretty.  Mr. Rodgers likes this picture better…

Chipotle Tacos 6Artsy fartsy pants.  🙂

Chipotle Tacos 10Is your chicken done yet?  Take it out and shred it with two forks…careful not to burn your little fingers!!

Chipotle Tacos 12You are ready to assemble!  I like doing things buffet style so everyone can customize their dinner!!  Oh, the tortillas are best warmed up a little bit!!

Chipotle Tacos 13Yummy!!  What do you think?!

SO there you go….Chipotle Pepper Post Number 1, down!!!

Alright.  I have to go now.  I am severely distracted by the fact that I am writing this post in the midst of an Audio Adrenaline Rehearsal.  Kinda fun, I have loved this band since childhood and they are at my church right now.  So, I am going to go now!  Thanks for reading guys!!