Black Bean and Corn Soup

2013-08-24 05.20.10

During the summer CSA we got a TON of sweet corn. I  mean a ton – 12 ears per week. That is way too much for 2 people to safely eat. My routine was to roast all 12 ears in the oven the night we got them. I would save the number of ears I thought we could eat in the week and then remove the corn from the others. By the end of the summer, despite eating corn like it was going out of style, we still ended up with 3 gallon freezer bags filled with corn.

When fall rolled around I decided it was time to start making a dent in the corn. Over the summer we also inherited a few gallons of tomatoes from my dad’s farm and a decent amount of hot peppers from our own garden (probably the only fruitful plants in our garden). What better to make with all of these items in the fall than soup! Pair that with a bag of dry black beans and you have a simple, nutritious, and filling meal.

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While you can use canned black beans (be sure to drain and rinse!), I chose to use dry beans since that is what I had on hand. It is best to prepare these separate and in advance. If you don’t, you run the risk of excessive gas in your soup (and subsequently in you). You can remove the gas by soaking them in water the night before you use them. You can then add these soaked beans to your soup directly. If you do this, they may be firmer than you are used to, so another option is to cook them fully before adding them to the soup. If you like to cook them in the crock pot before using them, here is a great resource. What I did was soak an entire bag overnight, cook them in the crockpot (per the link above), and then used only what I needed for the recipe. The rest I put in a freezer bag and stored in the freezer until I needed them again.

2013-08-24 06.23.04

Crock-pot Black Bean and Corn Soup

These are all estimates, as I don’t measure when I am putting things into the crock-pot for soup

  • 2 cups of corn (I used sweet corn but regular would do as well)
  • 6 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2-3 cups cooked/canned black beans
  • 1/4 cup diced hot pepper (less if you don’t like spice)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Additional options – ground beef/turkey, shredded chicken, shredded zucchini, diced green peppers


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in the slow cooker
  2. Add water to desired consistency (soupy vs stewy)
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.

Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup

This summer I had more eggplant than I knew what to do with. Usually I made baba ghanouj or I roasted the eggplant and froze it for later. One morning I stumbled across a roasted tomato and eggplant soup that sounded absolutely amazing – I had to try it. While it was a little more work than I usually like to put into things (yes, I’m a lazy cook), it was absolutely worth it. I modified the recipe a bit to finish it off in the crock pot, as an lazy cook would do :). I was living in Madison at the time, so unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the final product before leaving for school. I’m sure I’ll be making it again, so I will update the post with more pictures.

Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup
adapted from Martha Stewart

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  • About a dozen plum tomatoes, cored and halved
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large eggplant, halved
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large bunch of basil

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  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Line 1 rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil-lined pan and 1 unlined pain with cooking spray. Place the eggplant on the lined pan, face down. Poke holes in the top with a sharp knife. Place the tomatoes, onions, oil, and garlic on the unlined pan
    (in the picture you can see I put the basil, but it came close to burning, so I wouldn’t do that again)
  3. Roast both pans for 45 minutes, mixing every 15 minutes to prevent burning.
  4. If possible, peel the tomatoes (as I mentioned above, I’m a lazy cook, so I wasn’t too picky about this). Pour tomatoes into a food processor and blend well. Pour into a 4 or 6 qt crock pot.
  5. Remove the skins from the eggplant and pour into the food processor. Puree and thin with some water.
  6. Add to the crock pot and combine well. Add the chickpeas and basil to the crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Beef Stock

When we purchased our 1/2 cow they offered us bones for soup broth. We took them, of course (we’re cheap), but I never got the urge to make broth, so they have sat in the freezer for months. Last weekend I was going through the freezer to see how much meat we had left and I stumbled on a few packages of bones. I decided it was time to make broth. To my surprise, there was actually a lot of good meat still on the bones, so we ended up with 3 cups of shredded beef for J’s lunches as well.

Broth is one of the easiest things to make. Pour bones, vegetables, and water into a crock pot. Cook on low all day. Let cool overnight and skim off the fat. Done.

Crock-Pot Beef Broth
From Nom Nom Paleo


  • 3 packages (about 3 pounds) of beef bones
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (apple cider works well)
  • 3 garlic scapes (1/2-1 tbsp garlic powder would work too)
  • 2 cups misc. vegetables (carrots, celery, onions), diced
  • Water


  1. Place everything above, except the water, in the crockpot. Fill the crock-pot about 80% of the way with water. Place on low heat and hook for 8 hours (or longer).
  2. Remove the bones from the crockpot. If there is meat on the bones, take it off and shred it up for sandwiches.
  3. Push all the marrow out of the bones. This was absolutely disgusting, but necessary since the marrow has a lot of nutrients in it.
  4. With a whisk, mix up the mixture and dissolve the marrow.
  5. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a glass bowl. This will remove all the large pieces of vegetables or meat.
  6. Place the broth mixture in the refrigerator overnight. in the morning it will look like this:
    beef brothbeef broth (2)
  7. Skim off the fat and discard the fat.beef broth (3)
  8. Pour the remaining mixture into freezer bags and freeze until needed. We did quart bags since that is a common size we would need for a large batch of soup.




4 Delicious Soups!

4 Delicious Soups from 101cookbooks. Here is what Heidi writes –

– A Simple Tomato Soup: Pictured here – A simple tomato soup recipe inspired by a Melissa Clark recipe – pureed, warmly spiced, and perfect topped with everything from toasted almonds and herbs, to coconut cream or a poached egg.

– Pumpkin and Rice Soup: This was the pumpkin soup I made first-thing after arriving home from India last October – it has an herby butter drizzle and lemon ginger pulp. I serve it over a good amount of brown rice with a dollop plain yogurt.

– Coconut Red Lentil Soup: If emails are any indication, this is certainly one of the more popular soup recipes with all of you. Inspired by an Ayurvedic dal recipe in the Esalen Cookbook, it is a light-bodied, curry-spiced coconut broth thickened with cooked red lentils and structured with yellow split peas. It has back notes of ginger, slivered green onions sauteed in butter, and curry-plumped raisins. It also relies on an interested cooking method to bring it all together.

– Posole in Broth: My style of posole. This version has a vegetable broth base, lots of blossoming corn kernels, avocado and mung beans. It’s topped with plenty of chopped olives and toasted almonds.

Chili Verde

Chili Verde by a Year of Slow Cooking


  • 4 pound chuck roast
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced chiles
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 10 tomatillos, diced (peel off the outer wrapper, if they have one)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sage
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves


  • Place the roast into a 6 qt slow cooker. Add diced bell pepper, onion, and tomatillos. Pour in the contents of the diced chile can and the tomato can. Add spices. Stir a bit to get the spices down the sides of the meat. Add chopped cilantro to the top.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat shreds easily with a fork. If the meat seems tough,  chopped it into large chunks, and put it back in the pot for another hour or two
  • Serve with rice, corn tortillas, shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. Here is a A Year of Slow Cooking’s refried bean recipe if you’d like to give it a try!

Sweet Potato Chili

Sweet Potato Chili by A Year of Slow Cooking


  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and in 2-inch chunks
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (not pictured. If you don’t have any in the house, use water)


  1. Use a 5-6 quart slow cooker. Peel and chunk the sweet potato and add to the pot. Add diced onion. Follow with the red bell pepper, can of tomatoes, the beans, garlic, and seasonings. Pour in OJ and water.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the onion is translucent and the sweet potato is fork-tender (if you want the sweet potato to get really squishy and disappear when stirred, cook longer).

21 Ingredient Chili Recipe

21 Ingredient Chili Slow Cooker Recipe by A Year of Slow Cooking


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut in 1-inch chunks)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes (whole can)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 cups chicken broth


  1. Use a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Put the chicken into the bottom of your cooker; frozen is okay, but cut it into chunks. Add the diced onion, canned beans, tomatoes, chiles, corn, and grated sweet potato. Now add the mustard, honey, and dried spices. Carefully stir well to distribute spices the best you can. Pour in the chicken broth.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until chicken easily shreds with two large forks. Stir very well and serve in a large bowl with your favorite chili toppings.

Sausage and Lentil Stew and Cornbread

Sausage and Lentil Stew by A Year of Slow Cooking
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (12-ounce) package smoked or spicy chicken or turkey sausage, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 9 ounces fresh spinach
The Directions.
  1. Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Rinse your lentils under cold water, and place them into an empty slow cooker. Add beef broth, and sliced sausage. Add the entire can of tomatoes and a cup of chopped carrots. The broth and the seasoning from the sausage is enough to flavor this dish– there is no need for additional spices.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, then stir in fresh spinach.
  3. Cover again and let the spinach soften for about 15 minutes.
  4. Serve in a shallow bowl with cornbread.

Cornbread by


  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 2 eggs, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, soda and salt. Stir in yogurt and eggs. Do not over mix, stir only until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until center of the bread springs back when gently pressed.

Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Spinach Soup

Here is another recipes from The Kitchen Sink Recipes blog. I made this back in the dead of a Wisconsin winter when there was a few inches of snow on the ground and the wind was bitter cold. I substituted spinach for the kale in the original recipe because there was no kale at the local grocery store we went to. Jason loves soup in the winter and this is hands-down, Jason’s favorite. The spice from the sausage penetrates the soup and is calmed by the sweetness of the sweet potato.

Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Spinach Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion (about 2 large)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound bulk spicy turkey Italian sausage (I used Jennie-O hot sausages)
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped peeled sweet potato (about 2 1/4 pounds)
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch spinach, chopped
  • 1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed


  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 1 minute.
  2. Remove casings from sausage; add sausage to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until sausage is lightly browned, stirring to crumble.
  3. Add potato, 5 cups water, and broth; bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Gradually add kale; cook 10 minutes or until tender.
  5. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste) and beans; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Vegetable and Bean Soup

I have never met someone who loves soup more than Jason. The year before we were married and he was living with some friend in Oshkosh, WI, he would bring soup for lunch every single day. While I enjoy soup, I usually only like to have one bowl a week. Since we have been married, we have stopped buy canned soup (unless it is the low-sodium version and is on sale for $1 per can). Instead, once the first chill of fall comes I start up the crock pot and begin making batch after batch of soup and chili. One crock pot usually makes 4 large yogurt containers worth of soup (we eat a lot of yogurt, so we save the containers). I will keep two in the refrigerator and two in the freezer for later. Soup is fool-proof and works well with pretty much any items we have on hand. I try to always use fresh ingredients, but this is not always possible, so I usually keep extra cans of diced tomatoes, beans, and frozen vegetables on hand. If you use dry beans, be sure to soak them overnight before using them. This well help get some of the gas out and prepare them for cooking. Since the weather finally seems to be turning around (55F and sunny today!) I decided it was a good day for one last batch of soup. Soup can really be anything you want, so if you don’t have or like some of these ingredients, feel free to substitute something else.

Vegetable and Bean Soup
Makes about 1 gallon of soup

  • 2 cans of petite diced tomatoes (I used an onion and green pepper seasoning and garlic, oregano and basil seasoning)
  • 2 cans of water (use the tomato cans)
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen peas
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed well 
  • 1 can of great northern beans, drained and rinsed well 
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  •  1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin


Place all of the ingredients in a 4-5 quart crock pot. Stir well. Cover and cook on the LOW setting for 5 hours. If you use dry beans, you may need to cook it longer.