Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Soup - Mexican Style

Even though this new soup isn't pefected, I'm going to share it with you anyway.  (Otherwise, I would be blogging about Soupless Sunday.)  You can take it from here and do with it what you will.

I think I'd call this a cross between a soup and a stew as the broth ends up on the thick side.  I made it for the first time yesterday and will make some adjustments when I try it again.  

Usually if a recipe doesn't rate four stars the first time I make it, I don't bother trying to fix it.  But this one was tasty enough (and I knew exactly what to do to improve it) that I'll keep it for a second go-round.  Besides, even though it's meatless (gasp), Papa Pea really, really liked it!

The following recipe includes the changes that I think will make it great.  The original recipe was found in a Taste of Home cook book which yields good, down-home cookin' more than any other source I've found.


1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup carrots, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups of cooked white beans
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chunky salsa
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

In a soup pot, melt the butter and saute the onion and carrots for about 5-10 minutes over a low/medium heat, stirring often.

Stir in the cooked beans, chicken broth and salsa.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3-5 minutes.

For the dumplings, in a small bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  Stir in the milk and cheese just until moistened.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the simmering soup.

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  (Avoid lifting cover while simmering the dumplings.)

Yields 4 servings.

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My Notes:

~ Be sure to cut your carrots into small chunks (a medium dice?) so they cook enough.  I sliced the carrots yesterday and they didn't cook as much as I wanted.

~ I used a medium hot salsa which was too hot for me although my hubby thought it was just fine.  Next time I'll definitely use a milder salsa.

~ I used navy beans that I precooked from dry beans.  You could definitely use canned beans but I truly think the flavor of beans you cook yourself is far superior to purchased canned ones.  (Also much cheaper.)  Other beans would be tasty, too.  What about pinto beans?  Cannellini beans?  Kidney beans?  Even black beans although they would change the color of the soup.

~ If you would prefer the end product to be more of a soup than stew, why not just add more chicken broth?  That should work.

~ The cornmeal dumplings are very nice.  You could even try increasing the two tablespoons of cornmeal while decreasing the flour for them.

~ Even though it really is fine being meatless, I know bits of pork or ham would be excellent in it.  Also browned ground beef or leftover pot roast would make your meat-eater happy.

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So this is the end of Sunday Soups?  (It just illustrates how quickly the month of January flew by.)  Anyone have any interest in continuing this little exercise with another food for the month of February?  Dishes using eggs?  Salads?  Vegetarian dishes?  Pies?  (Oh, that could be dangerous!)  Breads?  Pasta dishes?  Anything else your little culinary heart desires?    


Patty said...

Looks great! I'll be trying this one soon, I'm sure. I love soup...and I mean love.

Sparkless said...

No soup for us this Sunday. The husband changed his mind and is making spag in stead. Your soup looks yummy. I've never made dumplings before, may have to give those an attempt the next soup day.
I'm not much of a cook so I'll let the others decide what to pick for Feb.

Kelly said...

It's over!!!! Oh no!!! I say extend it for another month, it went by too fast, winter isn't over, and we need more soup and stew recipes!
I made your cauliflower cheese soup today with broccoli from the garden. I think I like the cauliflower better which is WEIRD!!!!!!

Leigh said...

Dumplings! What a great idea. How could I forget about dumplings? Cornmeal ones sound really good. And the soup looks really good. I like this series. :)

Mama Pea said...

Patty - My hubby loves soup, too. There was a period when he was teaching and didn't like to take a lot of time for breakfast in the morning. He was happy if I always had a hot bowl of soup for him before he went out the door. Easy for me!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Boy, it sure would be nice to have a husband who liked to cook once in a while! Mine doesn't cook a bit. Spaghetti sounds good!

Mama Pea said...

Kelly - We'll have to see what everyone else wants to do . . . or doesn't want to do!

I've made the cauliflower cheese soup using broccoli instead of cauliflower lots of times. My fave is the cauliflower, too.

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - Thanks! I wonder if there's enough interest to keep it going?

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I thought of you today when I made the junkiest of junk soups! I pulled a vegetable soup I'd made previously from an aging bag of brocoslaw out of the freezer and to which I had added another small container of beanier junk soup my husband had made for work lunches plus about 1/4cup of leftover enchilada sauce. When it was thawed and simmering on the stove top, I added what remained of a box of orzo and 1/4 of lentils which thickened it all up nicely. I wasn't sure what to expect but it was actually better than the first time around!!

Your Mexican inspired soup sounds much more appetizing and I think I'll try it soon. Bet it would be good with pinto beans and a dollop of sour cream :)

Ruth Dixon said...

I am going to make soup every Sunday until it is too warm to do it... then maybe some cold soups (like a fruit soup). How 'bout a "Sweet Saturday" where we do some type of goodie... either baked goods, pies, healthy sweets? I'll follow whatever it is, though.

acd6pack said...

Yum! At our home, the human element is vegan, so this soup is perfect! (I'll swap out the chicken broth and a few other minor adjustments)

Remember back at the end of December I suggested you drain your frozen squash through a coffee filter lined colander? Here's another idea - try Kabocha squash. I bought one from a road side stand back in the fall and just roasted it and made soup with the leftovers. Very yummy and much drier than other squash. I'm thinking it might freeze better and not be so wet. I saved seeds and am going to plant them and hope for the best!

Kristina said...

This looks very good. I have some home canned salsa in my pantry, so I may have to try this one too.

Lisa said...

I like the sounds of this soup and I already keep most of the stuff on hand. I make a mexican-chicken soup but have never thought of cornbread dumplings--terrific idea!! You are so right in that ALL those Taste of Home recipes are always good! We had a soup similar to how Jenyfer Matthews pulled hers together..... leftovers from the fridge, coupled with leftovers from the freezer coupled with something added from the pantry. Ya'know.... it was pretty good too. And I'll never be able to repeat the 'recipe' on that one. :) Have a great day Mama Pea!

Anonymous said...

Made it loved it. Did put some chicken in it and used Masa instead of cornmeal. JoAnn

Erin said...

Yum! We had Campbells Soup Sunday LOL

Mama Pea said...

Jen - You be one talented "throw together" cook! If I tried that mine would taste like . . . well, junk soup! ;o)

Mama Pea said...

Ruth - Looks like you're hooked but good! And we eat soups all summer long . . . mainly because I'm outside in the garden so much that it's an easy thing to warm up for several meals. "Sweet Saturday" sounds like an option. I haven't heard any input from anyone else yet . . .

Mama Pea said...

acdopack - Wow, I admire you for being vegan. That ain't easy!

I'm not familiar with Kabocha squash at all. I'll bet it would be good for pumpkin pie also in that I've always liked the taste of a pumpkin pie made with squash but the texture is not quite the same. A little too . . . not firm enough is the only way I can think of to describe it.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - It should be perfect especially with your home canned salsa! Yum.

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - It's inevitable . . . every time I do throw things together (often to use up what's languishing in the refrigerator) and it tastes good, hubby will say, "Save this recipe!" . . . umm, like you, there's no way I could ever repeat it!!

Mama Pea said...

JoAnn - Chicken! Oh, yes, chicken. That would go very well.

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Well, it's a good thing you didn't post the recipe for that! You'd probably have been sued by their patent company!!