an army wife's guide to life

food and homemaking goodness

Making use of Everything

on February 22, 2013

One of the things I’m trying very hard to do with this new year is reduce my waste. This especially includes things like leftovers, which before this year, we’ve been terrible about eating. Usually, we’d end up with a fridge full of leftover food and it would just slowly go bad and mold until we finally decided to clean it out. Which was always disgusting and I’d refuse to do it all on my own.

This year, we’ve done much, much better. There has been maybe 2 containers of leftovers from this year that I ended up throwing away, one of them because it just wasn’t very good and shouldn’t have been saved in the first place, but that’s another story. Which brings me to today’s recipe.

It’s a black bean soup made using the leftover cooking liquid from a pot roast. The recipe for that pot roast is here on The Pioneer Woman‘s website. Of course, I didn’t make it the same way she did, and I’ll point out the differences as I go, like always. 

Obviously, you can start this recipe the day before, like I did, and make your crock pot really work, or you can just put together the ingredients and make the soup. As far as money-saving goes, though, the best idea is to make the pot roast, and the soup. Here’s what I did different from the original recipe: I didn’t add the cherry peppers (hubby can’t take food that’s too spicy) or the pimientos (cuz I don’t particularly care for them) and I did add the tomato paste (because I love it). That’s the only difference. And it was DELICIOUS. We both loved it. If you’re just feeding two, that mean’s there’ll be leftovers (there were plenty here), and I left them on low overnight, to keep cooking and getting more tender and delicious.

The next morning, you’ll fish out the beef and some of the liquid and put it away, it’s leftovers for another night. If you finished all the meat the night before, just leave the crock pot on the low setting so it keeps developing flavor. Then you’ll want to add a pound of black beans and half a box ( or 16 oz) of stock to the pot and turn it back to high. I don’t soak my beans overnight because I’m lazy and they come out just fine on the high setting.

Once the beans are cooked, blend the soup with an immersion blender, or in a regular blender. Saute a small onion and some garlic in olive oil and add it to the pureed soup. And that’s it. Serve it with a nice, crusty bread and you have a warm, delicious meal for a snowy day.

I’m going to show you the picture of this soup, but be warned: it’s not pretty…like, at all.

DSCN1154

See, not pretty. But it is DELICIOUS, and you should just take my word for that.

Italian Black Bean Soup Recipe

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