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A bowl of soup, a crackling fire, a glass of Cab and American Idol, baby!

March 11, 2009

Yesterday it was in the 80’s outside———–and tonight it’s in the 30’s.  That’s okay.  We’re  good.  This is Oklahoma–where if you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it WILL change.  We got the fruit trees covered and we pulled the plants back up on the porch.  The cold weather veggies will survive–but the tuna salad I had planned for my dieting self and hubby’s supper won’t do at all!  Soooooo……resourceful girl that I am,  I put on a pot of one of my  favorite cold weather standbys, Southwestern Navy Bean Soup.soup-bowlI popped a new recipe I found for Jalapeno Cornbread in the oven, (Hey!  I used turkey sausage in the soup, and skim milk and low-fat sour cream in the cornbread!  The diet’s still good!  Besides, haven’t you read about  the latest diet breakthrough?  It’s all about portion control! (let’s all thump ourselves on the head and say “DUH”)) cornbreadMy wonderful husband  built a fire, hopefully–but not likely, the last for the season, and we popped the cork on a good (and inexpensive) Cabernet Savignon. (Hush! Portion control, remember?)  Gonna snuggle in to watch us some American Idol!  I’ve already got a fave–Bet you think it’s Adam!  And you’d be right!  But I also like 16 year old, Allison,  Matt G, Kris, Alexis, Danny, and Lil’.  Okay, I don’t really have a favorite yet. Be back in a few………..

1 HOUR LATER:  Ok, all my faves are still in the competition!  The soup was great, as usual, but the cornbread wasn’t what I expected. It  had more of a souffle or spoon bread consistency. bean-soup-and-jalapeno-cornbread1 I don’t know if I messed up by messing with the recipe, (see my changes below) or if that’s how it was supposed to be,  but I didn’t love it.  My dear husband, on the other hand, really LOVED it, so go figure.  Personally, I thought it tastedfetzer-full-photo5 too tart, and I think that might be remedied by not using pickled jalapeno’s and using the fresh ones (which is what it called for in the first place).   The wine?  It was good, and I have to confess, portion control went out the window with the wine–I’m having my second glass as we speak.

fetzer-label1Fetzer’s Cabernet Savignon,  2006, $8.62 at  the Hard to Find Liquor store. It’s a real bargain. (And yes, the store is hard to find, but worth looking for. The wine selection is large are much cheaper than anywhere else in town.

Southwestern Navy Bean and Sausage Soup

4 cans navy or great northern beans (Yes,  I said cans!  You can use fresh ones if you want to, but why would you want to?)

3-4 cans chicken broth

1 med. onion, chopped

2-3 stalks celery chopped

1-2 carrots chopped or sliced (I used a handful of baby carrots cut into 1/3rds)

garlic to taste (I used 6 pods fresh, minced, but you can use jarred or powder)

a little olive oil

2-3 heaping T. flour

1 pkg smoked turkey kelbasa or polish sausage, sliced or diced (if there’s a casing, I remove it before chopping)

Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning—or any seasonings you like.   (If  using Tony Chachere’s, be careful not to use too much,  cuz’ it’s really salty. If you use low sodium chicken broth, you’ll need more.)

Mrs. Dash’s Southwest Chipotle Seasoning to taste ( I use a lot–like 2 T.)

about 6 shakes of Liquid Smoke

about 2 tsp. of browning sauce for color.

Fresh grated black pepper to taste


Cook onion, celery, and carrot  in olive oil until onions are transparent. Add garlic and flour and stir with a wire whisk over heat until roux forms. While stirring briskly, add a can of chicken broth to the pan, slowly. (to avoid lumps) 

Transfer the whole mess to a large pot. Stir in the rest of the chicken broth, un-drained beans and sausage (plus any juice from the sausage that was left in the package)

Add the seasoning, liquid smoke and browning sauce. Stir it in and taste.  Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Cook til carrots are done—at least an hour  on top of the stove. The good news is you can cook it as long as you want.If you like your soup thicker,  take about a cup of the cooked soup and puree in a blender. Add back to pot and stir.

163 ca. 5 fiber 2.5 fat and 3 “weight watcher” points per cup  (if you used turkey sausage instead of regular sausage)  according to my precise calculations!

Very good with a whole grain crusty bread and of course you KNOW it’s gotta be good with cornbread!

For an Italian Sausage and Bean Soup, use cannelloni beans instead of the navy. Use Italian turkey sausage instead of the polish turkey sausage.( Remove the casing and chunk it up)  It’s not pre-cooked so add it to the skillet with the onions, celery and carrots. For spices, use rosemary, oregano, and basil. Also add a bay leaf to the pot. Salt to taste. I haven’t made the Italian version, but the friend who gave me this recipe has and says it’s very good.

Jalapeno Cornbread

(12-15 servings–yeah, right!)

  • 1 pkg. “JIFFY” Corn Muffin Mix
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (I used skim milk-1/2 c and ¼ c. white vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (lt.or fat free)
  • 4 jalapeno peppers-cored, seeded and diced (1/3 c. mild pickled jalepenos diced. (I used Mezzetta Deli sliced Tamed jalapeno pepper slices, diced)
  • 1 small red pepper, diced (didn’t use)
  • 4 Tbsp. margarine or butter, diced (I used 2 T. butter diced)

Preheat oven to 400°, grease 10″ cast iron skillet and preheat in oven. Combine egg yolks, buttermilk and sour cream; mix well. Add muffin mix and diced peppers; mix until moist. Whip egg whites to stiff peak and fold them and butter pieces into batter. Pour mixture into heated skillet. Bake 30-35 minutes.

Haven’t figured the calorie count on this one yet.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 19, 2009 9:01 am

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