Thanks to Better Homes and Garden for this fabulous soup recipe. I have made it about once every week or two since I found it in a fall issue, and we all love it. (I may have told Sophia that it was similar to soup that Hagar and Ishmael ate. They must have eaten beans, right?) Super easy, and a great meal for my work nights, because I either make it in the crock pot or simmer it on the stove while I nap.
Mexican White Bean Soup
1 1/4 cups dried navy beans (8 ounces)
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced (You know I’m using my food processor for all this chopping and slicing!)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 14 1/2 ounce can vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth (I use boullion cubes, tastes good to me.)
2 cups water
1 cup salsa verde
Light dairy sour cream (optional)
Fresh cilantro (I hate cilantro, and don’t add it. Still yummy!)
1. Rinse beans. In a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven cover beans with 6 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. (Note by Laurel: I love this, because if I forgot to soak the beans overnight, I can still make the soup that day. You can soak the beans overnight instead if you want.)
2. In the Dutch oven cook onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in hot oil until tender. Stir in cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add broth and the 2 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
3. Using a handheld immersion blender, blend mixture slightly. Using a handheld immersion blender, blend mixture slightly. (Or let soup cool slightly. Transfer mixture, one-third at a time, to a blender or food processor. Cover; blend slightly.) Return to Dutch oven. Finely shred 1 teaspoon peel from orange; then juice orange. Stir orange juice, peel, and salsa verde into soup; heat through. If desired, top with sour cream. Sprinkle with cilantro and cayenne pepper.
And the other recipe I found online recently (Thanks, allrecipes.com!) . . . amazing carrot muffins! (I added the "amazing" . . . they are!) I changed the oil to applesauce, and here you go.
Amazing Carrot Muffins
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup warm water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup plus brown sugar (I use half this amount and they are still quite yummy!)
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
Combine raisins and water in a small bowl. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain raisins, discard water and set raisins aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, oil and brown sugar; beat well. Stir togther wet, dry, raisins, and carrots. Spoon into prepared muffin cups. Makes 9 muffins.Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
Let the eating commence! And let me know if you have any particular toddler hits to share . . . I am always on the lookout for healthy recipes for picky kids.