What’s your favorite easy-peasy meal?
My favorite weeknight go-to meal is this Cuban Black Bean soup adapted from The Daily Soup cookbook.
Quick back story on The Daily Soup: It’s supposedly the cookbook from the restaurant that inspired the Soup Nazi character on Seinfeld. My first grad school roommate, Dora, introduced me to this cookbook. She had it and I loved it, so we requested (and received) it as a wedding gift.
Why I love this cookbook
Part of the reason I love this book is because it has several recipes that don’t include tomatoes. I was still trying to figure out how to cook with my food allergies when I first flipped through this book. If you have food allergies, there’s probably a recipe or two in here for you.
Every recipe in this book makes a TON of soup so there are always leftovers. Most recipes yield enough for us to have dinner, a couple of lunch portions, and freeze some to have dinner and lunch again. Most of these soups thicken when re-heated (due to water evaporation—thanks, science!), so we usually add more broth or some water when we reheat it, stretching it further.
Why this bean soup recipe rocks
1. This recipe is exceptionally cheap to make.
I always think it’s ridiculous when people say it’s expensive to eat healthy or that healthy food spoils too fast. I’ll give you fresh fruits and veggies (meat too, but we don’t eat a lot of that anymore). We have a hard time with spoilage on some things. But dry or canned beans, root veggies, and frozen produce are always cheap and keep for a long time.
2. This recipe uses things we always have on hand.
It’s made almost entirely from pantry items and other stuff we stock regularly. The only thing we don’t typically have on hand that’s in this recipe is a jalapeño and that’s totally optional.
3. This recipe is so, so easy.
Chop stuff up and put in a pot. Turn pot on. Walk away for 10 hours. Eat. Really? Yup. I don’t love slow cooker recipes because the food usually turns out overcooked, but this recipe comes out perfectly every time. Cleanup is simple due to the crock pot.
- 3-4 large shallots, chopped (can substitute 2 large Spanish onions, the original ingredient)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 jalepeño, seeded and diced
- 1 T ground cumin
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (can sub 2 t dried thyme leaves)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 t ground black pepper
- 1 pound black turtle beans, rinsed and picked over to remove debris
- 1 (find size) jar of salsa verde
- 8 cups of filtered water
- 1-2 T hot sauce
- Put everything in the slow cooker the night before cooking. You can put in the fridge, but we leave on the counter.
- Turn on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours. I usually turn on at 8:30 and turn up to high at 2 when I'm home for lunch.
- When the beans are tender (to your taste), remove the bay leaf and thyme.
- Blend half of the soup OR use an immersion blender to blend until desired texture.
What’s your favorite weeknight meal?