Do you ever come back from a few days away and just want a homey, simple meal? I always seem to need a food break after a trip. I spent last weekend camping at my Nanny’s cabin. It is my favorite place on earth because there’s no cell service, no tv, no internet and a huge field to play in with a creek to cool off in. My kids burst out of the car like rockets when we arrive and run around all day every day. The cousins build forts and mud pies and memories together. They sleep like rocks while we’re there, usually drifting off on the deck trying to spy shooting stars in the mountain skies.
I spent three days digging out sand from the middle of the creek and hauling it to the edge of the bank, covering the muck and roots, creating a gorgeous sandy beach. It’s something my Nanny has wanted at the cabin forever, and we finally gave it to her. It is awesome. Also, you really don’t need a gym when your days are spent hauling sand weighed down by water. Just sayin.
There was a whole lot of chopping limbs, ripping out trees (did you know that a chain hooked to a mini-van is a powertool?), cutting and hauling debris and general hard-working fun. To go with all that work, there was plenty of eating, drinking (hello margaritas!) and relaxing. Here’s my little man showing you how it’s done. Plate of cheese, crackers and grapes with his belly hanging out and his mouth full of food. Chillaxin’ on the bank of the creek. As a side note, do you say “creek” or “crick”? It was a hotly debated issue this weekend.
Camping always means lots of food I don’t normally eat and inevitably when I return home my body is revolting against the days of sweets, smores, hot dogs and enough cheese to build a small cheddar city. Mmmmm, I do love cheese. The drive home over the mountains on Sunday took us from 85 degree sunny perfection to cloudy threatening rain and 65°. The weather coupled with a need for something that wasn’t going to cause additional food pain led me to whip together this delicious veggie and bean soup. Wearing a sweater. Yes, it is August and I’m making a warm hearty soup while bundled up in a hoodie. Welcome to summer in Seattle.
It is delicious. Both my kids gobbled it down. And, apparently got my genes when it comes to how they enjoy food. Eyes closed, in the moment of bliss.
I can’t blame them, all those gorgeous veggies swimming in a rich and hearty broth? Mmmmmmm, soup.
Serve it up with some bread and you’re all set. That bread, oh it is yummy too. A knock off of a very famous Italian restaurant chain with endless bread. More on that tomorrow.
Black Bean Vegetable Soup
a Bakerlady Original
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 bell pepper (any color) chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2.5 cups vegetable stock (may use chicken stock if you like)
3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained
- In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, garlic, carrots, celery and bell pepper stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Add chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add stock, 1 1/2 cans of the beans, corn, and black pepper; bring to boil.
- Meanwhile, in food processor or blender, puree together tomatoes and remaining 1 1/2 cans of beans; add to pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.