Week three for me and my Crock Pot Buddy, The Harried Mom! Have you tried any of our previous recipes? If so, be sure to let us know either via comments or via our facebook pages. This week, we both tried completely different recipes. Using her Cadillac Crock Pot, The Harried Mom made an exquisite Veal Stew with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Rosemary. I, with my Yugo Crock Pot, made an authentic vegetarian Mexican Black Bean Soup. But don’t take our word for it. Sit back. Pour a glass of wine and read on.
It was winter break and I had arranged for a pretty terrific group of couples to meet for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Princeton – Tortuga’s. At first glance, the building looks no different from the homes beside it. In fact, if it weren’t for the sign above the entry way and the group of people waiting for a table, you would think it was someone’s home. Our last trip was disastrous in that the restaurant had indicated it was closed. There we all were. Three couples (with sitters taking care of the children) and full night of great food and conversation ahead of us only to find the place was closed. Of course we made do (Thank you Alchemist & Barrister), but we missed our Mexican food. Recently, news that Tortuga’s had reopened across the street had prompted this next couples date night. But the excitement of date night was short-lived. We were having difficulty finding available sitters and the idea of bringing seven children along with us was not ideal. Hence, Couple Date Night became Family Mexican Dinner Night. With enough wine and age appropriate Wii games, it would be fun!
I decided that I would try a Mexican Black Bean Soup since it would compliment our other dishes. I searched high and low for a recipe that was healthy and the children could enjoy. Much to my surprise, I found what I was looking for on the back of a can of black beans. Along with some modifications, I created a soup that was very close to being one of my best, that is, until we (and by we, I mean my husband) added flour.
The soup, as you will see, requires that you blend a portion of the black beans and soup stock to the whole beans already cooking in the crock pot. Well, as the George Forman grill standing in as my quesadilla maker was warming up and the tacos and meat and the salsa were ready to serve, my Black Bean Soup failed to really thicken. My husband and assistant Chef, suggested flour. Adding flour to gravy thickens it, of course it would work.
Instead, my Black Bean Soup had clumps of flour. I panicked. To make matters worse, one of our guests was a former Head Chef at many fine restaurants including his own, Hannah and Mason’s. So for what seemed like an eternity, I tried to blend the flour the best I could.
In the end, I was forthcoming with my guests as per our flour error to which they didn’t seem to mind. The children had zero interest in my soup (they enjoyed being able to make their own quesadilla) but the adults really seemed to enjoy it. Topped with cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream, the soup was satisfying.
So we are trying to schedule a Couples Date Night one night soon, but know we have the good ol Yugo to fall back in a pinch!
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Mexican Black Bean Soup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2hours
Serves: 6 hungry adults if the soup is a side dish
4 cans of Goya Black Beans
1 quart of Vegetable Soup
1 can of Sweet Baby Corn
1 red onion
1 cup of carrots chopped
1 glove of garlic minced
1 tablespoon of salt
1/2 tablespoon of pepper
Drain 4 cans of beans and corn and rinse clean. (make sure to wash them clean)
Brown onion (you don’t have to brown the onion, but I find the browned onion compliments the dish)
Set the crock pot to a low setting or 2 hours. Take 1/2 of the black beans and place in the crock pot. Add corn, browned onion, carrots minced garlic salt, pepper and 3/4 of the broth in the crock pot.
Take the remaining black beans and broth and blend to a puree. Once pureed, add this to the crock pot.
The soup should be ready after two hours. Add cheddar cheese and sour cream and enjoy!