Fiesta Bean & Chicken Soup

July 21, 2012

Fiesta Bean & Chicken Soup


With all of the rain we’ve been having I felt like making a nice homey soup.  I came up with this hearty, but not too heavy, bean and chicken soup.  It turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. 



5 Ounces Pinto Beans

5 Ounces Red Beans

5 Ounces Black Beans

8 Cups Water

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

4 Ounces Cooked & Diced Chicken Breast

1 Large Chopped Onion

4 Chopped Green Onions

8 Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Cup Corn

2 Diced Tomatoes

2 Cups Salsa

6 Small Chopped Red & Yellow Peppers

1 Large Chopped Hot Pepper

6 Cups Chicken Broth

1 Bottle White Wine

1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes,

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder


Rinse and drain the beans.  Soak the beans for at least 6 hours or overnight. Place the beans in a large soup pot with 8 cups of water and 1 tablespoon kosher salt.  Boil uncovered for 20 minutes.  Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 3 hours until the beans are soft.  Do not drain the beans. Uncover and add the chicken broth and stir.  Add the olive oil, kosher salt, red pepper flakes, ground cumin and chili powder.  Stir.  Turn up the heat to medium and add the wine.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Add the onions, chicken, garlic, green onions, corn, tomatoes, red & yellow peppers, hot pepper and stir.  Cook for 10 minutes and then add the salsa.  Simmer for an hour to blend the flavors.  Ladle the soup into bowls and serve immediately.  The soup can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.  If necessary, thin with additional chicken broth when reheating.  Serves 8

Green Bean Sauté

July 9, 2012

Green Bean Sauté

I am a big fan of crunchy vegetables. After picking up a couple pounds of organic green beans from the farmers’ market I decided to make my Green Bean Sauté. Some people like to blanch their vegetables before throwing them in the sauté pan, but I prefer the extra crunch. 



3 Pounds Trimmed & Stringless Green Beans

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

5 Sliced Garlic Cloves

1 Large Sliced Shallot

1/8 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper


In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil over a medium heat.  Add the garlic and shallots.  Cook for 1 minute.  Make sure that the garlic and shallots don’t burn.  Add the green beans, salt & pepper and cook for 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Remove from the heat and place in a serving bowl.  Serves 4


Mom’s Minestrone Soup

May 13, 2012

Mom’s Minestrone Soup


This easy and delicious soup can be made ahead.  I like to make it to have for lunch after church.  Mom’s Minestrone Soup can be made for lunch, dinner or a first course.  Great in all seasons!



3 Cups Vegetable Broth

2 Diced Tomatoes

2 Cups Cooked Navy Beans (Canned or Home Cooked)

2 Chopped Carrots

1 Chopped Onion

1 Chopped Zucchini

2 Cups Ditalini Pasta

1 Teaspoon Thyme

1/2 Teaspoon Sage

2 Bay Leaves

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

4 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese (Optional)

2 Tablespoons Basil (Optional)


In a stock pot combine the vegetable broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, onion, thyme, sage, bay leaves, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.  If you want to cut down on the cooking time you can cook on high for 3 hours.  35 minutes before the soup is done cooking add the pasta and zucchini.  Cover and cook for 35 minutes.  Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.  Transfer the soup to individual bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese or basil if you like.  Serves 4


Corn & Black Bean Salad

April 16, 2012

Corn & Black Bean Salad


This simple and colorful salad is packed full of flavor.  With the combination of sweet corn, tender black beans, cherry tomatoes and zesty cilantro in a vinaigrette dressing what could be better.



2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Corn

1/2 Cup Chopped Red Onion

2 Tablespoons Malt Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

4 Cups Black Beans

1 Cup Halved Cherry Tomatoes

1/3 Cup Chopped Cilantro


In a medium size pot add water and bring to a boil.  Add the fresh corn and cook for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat and drain well.  Rinse in cold water and drain again.  If you are using frozen corn skip the cooking process.  Just thaw the corn out.  In a large size bowl whisk together the malt vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper to make the dressing.  Add the beans, corn, chopped onions and cherry tomato halves.  Toss just until all of the ingredients are incorporated.  Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.  Add the cilantro and toss again before serving.  Serves 4


Southern Style Baked Beans

February 17, 2012

Southern Style Baked Beans


8 Slices Bacon Cut Into 1 Inch Pieces

1 Medium Diced Onion

½ Medium Diced Green Bell Pepper

3 Large Cans (28 Ounces Each) Pork & Beans

¾ Cup BBQ Sauce (Rodeo Barbecue Sauce)

½ Cup Brown Sugar

¼ Cup Cider Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard

Adjust your oven rack to the lower middle position. Preheat your oven to 325° F. In a very large pan fry the bacon until it is partially cooked and has released about ½ cup of the drippings. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. Add the onion and bell pepper to the drippings in the pan and sauté for 5 minutes until tender. Add the beans, bacon and the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Pour the flavored beans into a greased 9×13 inch oven proof baking pan. Bake uncovered for 2 hours until the beans are bubbly and the sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup. Remove from the oven and let stand to thicken slightly. Serve warm. Serves 18

Victoria’s Tuscan Soup

February 16, 2012

Victoria’s Tuscan Soup

Winter time is such a great time for hearty soups. When I go to the specialty markets on Arthur Avenue I love to pick up dried beans to store away in the pantry for just that perfect weekend day that calls for a nice hearty soup. This is my Tuscan soup that is delicious. Make sure not to over-salt it as the ham will take care of adding the salt to the soup.


15 Ounces Dried Large Italian Beans Soaked Overnight

1 Chopped Onion

1 Chopped Carrot

5 Tablespoons Olive Oil

8 Cloves Chopped Garlic

32 Ounces Chopped Ham

15 Ounces Chicken Broth

10 Ounces Crushed Cherry Tomatoes

20 Ounces Water

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

In a large saucepan, sauté the onions, garlic and carrot in the olive oil until tender. Add the chicken broth, water, soaked beans, pepper, cherry tomatoes and ham. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4 hours until the beans are tender. You may have to add more water depending how much your soup has cooked down. You may need to adjust your cooking time. The beans will be your guide. If you don’t have all day to cook this soup then go for the canned beans. I think the dried beans taste best however. Serves 4

White Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Dip

November 1, 2011

White Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Dip

I love this dip. All you need is either a food processor or a blender. So easy to make and full of flavor. I also like to spread it on sandwiches instead of using mayonnaise.


19 Ounces Cannellini Beans

16 Ounces Roasted Red Peppers

¼ Cup Fresh Parsley

3 Tablespoons Paprika

¼ Cup Olive Oil

6 Garlic Cloves

¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

In a food processor, puree the cannellini beans, roasted red peppers, fresh parsley, garlic, olive oil, paprika, salt & pepper. You want the consistency to be smooth and creamy. Serve with vegetables, toasted pita chips or on sandwiches. Makes 2 cups.

Spicy Black Bean Soup

October 17, 2011

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Warmed corn tortillas and a nice green salad go nicely with this hearty soup.


1 ½ Cups Dried Black Beans

5 Cups Water

1 Cup Chopped Yellow Onion

1 Cup Spicy Salsa

3 Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

6 Tablespoons Sour Cream

6 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro

¼ Cup Diced Tomatoes

Soak the dried beans, covered with cold water, over night. The next morning drain the beans. Transfer the beans into a medium cooking pot with the 5 cups of water. Bring the beans to a boil and cook for 30 minutes. Add more water if you need to. Add the onion, salsa, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir occasionally. And cook on medium for another 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 2 hours until done to the consistency that you desire. Serve in bowls garnished with sour cream, chopped cilantro and diced tomatoes. Serves 6

Greek Fasolada

September 13, 2011

Greek Fasolada

I love making soups! The moment I feel Fall weather in the air I start making hearty soups. Greek Fasolada (Greek Navy Bean Soup) is so simple to make and quite a popular dish in Greece. Some say that it is, in fact, the Greek national dish. This soup can be made year round, but is popular during Lent. Tasty, nutritious and should be eaten with olives and warm bread.


1 Cup Navy Beans

3 ½ Cups Water

1 Chopped Yellow Onion

3 Chopped Garlic Cloves

2 Peeled & Chopped Carrots

2 Peeled & Chopped Celery Stalks

1 Cup Diced Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste

3 Cubes Vegetable Stock

1 Teaspoon Oregano

¼ Cup Chopped Parsley

½ Teaspoon Sea Salt

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Soak the beans in the water overnight. Fill a soup pot with 3 quarts of water and add the soaked beans. Cook on medium for 30 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Cook for 1 hour. Next add the tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable stock cubes, salt, pepper and oregano. Cook on low heat for an additional 1 hour. If the beans are not tender yet cook for longer. To serve add chopped parsley. Serves 4

Green Bean Salad

September 5, 2011

Green Bean Salad

I love this salad!


1 Large Sliced Sweet Onion

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Pound Trimmed Green Beans

1 Teaspoon Snipped Fresh Rosemary

½ Teaspoon Sea Salt

1 Clove Minced Garlic

1 Cup Cooked Fresh Corn

1 ½ Cups Sliced In Half Cherry Tomatoes

2 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice

In a medium sized skillet cook the onions in the hot olive oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Don’t overcook the onions. You want them just to begin to soften. Add the green beans, rosemary, garlic and salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes more or until beans are crisp-tender. Remove from the heat and toss in corn, tomatoes and lime juice. Serve hot or cold. Serves 4

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