Friday, November 12, 2010

Fall Flavors

Whenever the weather cools, I immediately find myself craving soups. It's probably a little out of control, but I think I would be content to have soup every night during the winter months. You can imagine my excitement when while shopping at Trader Joes, I came across their Bean and Barley Mix. I grabbed the bag and then stopped in my tracks when I saw that the mix contains the dreaded black eyed peas, which still conjure up bad memories from childhood.

I remember coming home after school and seeing the bag of black eyed peas on the kitchen counter. Immediately, I knew that it wasn't going to be a pleasant dinner. It would result in me sitting alone at the table staring at the beans as my mother said "you're not excused until you eat 5 more beans."

Regardless of the bad association, I grabbed the bag and headed home.

This soup was delicious and I didn't even notice the black eyed peas.  For the recipe, read after the jump.

1 1/2 cups of T.J. 17 Bean and Barley Soup Mix
4 cups of Vegetable broth
1 cup of chopped sweet bell peppers, choose from a mixture of green, red, yellow or orange etc.pepper 
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Dried Basil
1 Canned Tomatoes (28 oz can)
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
3 garlic clove 
Optional: 2 Tbl. Olive Oil. 
Soak Bean & Barley combination overnight.
Soak beans overnight in a large pot of water, then rinse and drain. Pour 4 cups of vegetable broth into a pot with the beans. In a separate pan, cook onion, celery, carrot, pepper, basil and garlic in olive oil until soft. Combine this mixture and remaining ingredients into the bean pot and cover with more broth. Simmer covered for about 1 hour to desired tenderness. Be sure to occasionally check the liquid level and add more broth if necessary. Salt and pepper to desired taste. Makes about 8 hearty servings.
I also added slices of trader joe’s italian chicken sausage for even more protein.

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