Friday, April 23, 2010

Counting Cans

I have a cupboard in the garage where I store "extra" know, things I've bought in bulk at Costco, or things I've "stocked up on" because they were on sale.  That sort of stuff.  It's mostly canned foods, too, with some packages of pasta and mac n' cheese thrown in for good measure.  (What would Laurel think?!? ;)

I had the occasion to clean out both the kitchen pantry, and this garage cupboard, over my Spring Break (girls gone wild!  what what!) and let me tell you, it was quite eye-opening.  First of all, I might not have purchased the cans of black beans on sale at Safeway (10 of them!) if I had realized that I was still working my way through a box of 8 cans of black beans that I had purchased at Costco.  Can somebody 'splain to me who exactly needs 18 cans of black beans?  *sigh*

Look at the cute lime green shelf liner I put into the kitchen pantry!

On the other hand, it did compel me to make a black bean soup which was delicious.  I ate it for dinner...breakfast...lunch...snack...dinner again.  I suppose if you wanted a vegetarian version, you could leave out the bacon (why?  why would you do that?) but here it is, somewhat modified from the back of a back of dried beans (yep.  I've got dried black beans too...apparently, I can never have too many black beans): 

Simple Black Bean Soup
1)   Cook a package of bacon in a stock pot.  (I cut the strips up using kitchen scissors.  It was an awesome way to make diced bacon!)
2)  Drain the fat, then add 3 diced carrots, 3 diced celery stalks, 1 diced onion.  Cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3)  Add crushed garlic (to your preference), and 1 teaspoon each of the following:  oregano, thyme, cumin, black pepper.  Stir it all together.  Cook 5 more minutes.
4)  Add a can of chicken broth (15 oz), 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, and 3 cans of black beans (do not drain the beans).
5)  Simmer on medium-low heat for about 30 - 40 minutes.  The recipe was for soaked beans, and to cook 2 hours until it thickens.  But, with the canned beans that come in their own thicker juice, I found that it was ready within about half and hour.

You can add salt and more pepper to taste, but we ate it just like that, with a smidge of cheddar cheese, or you could add some sour cream and chives.  Ooohhhh! Diced tomatoes!  Next time.  Homemade bread didn't hurt, either.

Three down...15 to go.  Wish us luck.


  1. You need Aunt Betty's Black Bean and Tomato Salad recipe. Easy and delicious!

  2. Will do, Pat! Easy and delicious, why that's my middle name...hmmmm....maybe I'll wait to make my request after she's had some recovering time.