When the temperatures dip to fifteen degrees or less, I do not go outside. (Which is why you haven’t seen many outfit pictures lately.) Since I would be home for a few days, I made a big pot of bean and vegetable soup.
I used the Minnesota Heartland 11-Bean Soup Mix and made it Vegetarian Style.
First, prepare the beans. Place contents of soup mix/beans in a large bowl, cover with plenty of water, and soak overnight. Save the seasoning packet to add to the rice. In the morning, drain the beans, place them into a 4-quart pot with plenty of fresh water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1½ hours.
You will also need:
8 or more Cups Vegetable Broth or stock
1 Cup Lundberg® Natural Wild Rice Blend
1 Large Onion, Chopped (2 cups)
2 Cups Celery, Sliced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced (3 teaspoons)
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Green Pepper, chopped
1 Large Eggplant, diced (I omitted this because there were none available.)
3 Small carrots sliced or chopped (2 cups)
1 16-ounce Bag Mixed Frozen Vegetables
1 28-ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
¼ Cup Juice of 1 Lemon
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper, salt if needed
1 teaspoon Oregano or Italian Seasoning
Next, make the rice. Add broth to a 6 or 8-quart soup pot. Add the rice and the seasoning packet and bring it to boil. Turn heat down, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Drain the water from the beans and add them to the soup pot with broth and rice. Add carrots, onion, celery, green and red pepper, and garlic. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add a bag of frozen vegetables, canned tomatoes, lemon juice, pepper and salt to taste, and oregano. Simmer for another hour with the lid tilted. I kept an eye on the pot and stirred the soup occasionally. I also added a bit more vegetable stock as needed because I didn’t want the soup to be too thick. I have real difficulty following a recipe exactly.
To cut sodium, omit the salt, prepare with no salt added canned diced tomatoes, or diced fresh tomatoes. If you find that the soup still needs a flavor boost, you could add soy sauce, curry powder, cumin, roasted garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, blackstrap molasses, and or aged balsamic vinegar when the cooking time is finished.
When Mr. Mickey came over bearing flowers and a bottle of wine, I served the soup with a glass of wine and hearty bread. There was plenty of soup to share with him and for me to enjoy for lunches later.