I don't cook in large amounts usually, so I often end up with various leftover ingredients in my freezer. When their quantity becomes overwhelming, I make a list of them and figure out how I can use them up in just a few dishes. When I made such a list last week, I had five kinds of beans and peas back there, as well as some hominy. The obvious thing to do was to make bean soup.
Once I made the soup, I was on a roll. During the rest of the week, I stretched a couple of servings of Coconut Curry with Purple Hull Peas to make more with some potato, water, cornstarch, salt and garam masala, and had the curry with rice and Gobi Manchurian. I used my found bag of mango (Why did I buy this?) and made mango Margaritas. Finally, I turned about a serving and a half of mushroom soup into gravy with a roux of flour, oil and salt, and made use of some frozen tofu, lima beans and puff pastry that were languishing in the freezer; the ingredients became pot pie.
I was so proud of my empty freezer that I took pictures of it. It never looks like this!
|You can see the bottom!|
|The door even is empty.|
I am still on a spicy food kick (more than usual), so I added chipotle pepper puree to the soup. (The puree is made by combining the contents of a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in a blender or food processor. Then you can store the rest in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to a year.) You might think cumin would be a natural spice for this soup, and I would agree, but I left it out this time. Sometimes it's better not to put every ingredient in every dish possible - that way everything you cook doesn't end up tasting alike.
Bean Hominy and Chipotle Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced, about 1 cup
2 stalks celery, diced, about 1 cup
2 carrots, diced, about 1 cup
1 medium zucchini, diced, about 1 cup
1/3 red bell pepper, diced, about 1/2 cup
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups of cooked beans or peas, any variety*
1 cup cooked hominy
1 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomato
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
6 cups vegetable broth or water
1 to 3 tablespoons chipotle puree
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
Juice of 1 lime, about 1-1/2 tablespoons
Salt to taste (I used 1/4 teaspoon)
Heat olive oil in a large pot. Sauté onion, celery, carrots, zucchini and red bell pepper until the vegetables become tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a low boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until zucchini is tender, about 20 minutes.
Serves about 6.
*My beans consisted of 1 cup purple hull peas and 3/4 cup each chick peas, cannellini beans, lima beans and edamame.