Sunday, January 2, 2011

monday - pinto bean-wheat berry soup and quesadillas

We returned home Monday evening and I was faced with an empty fridge and no motivation to go to the grocery store or pick up take-out. So, I was very pleased when I was able to piece together this soup out of things I found in the freezer (cooked wheat berries and pinto beans), pantry (canned tomatoes, chicken stock, onion, and garlic), and refrigerator (celery and carrots). The soup is loosely based on this recipe from, which I've made before, but modified quite a bit based on what I had on hand. I also made quesadillas with two remaining flour tortillas and two diced low-fat cheddar cheese sticks.

Pinto Bean-Wheat Berry Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans (or 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained)
2 pints diced tomatoes (or 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes), drained
3 cups cooked wheat berries or pearl barley
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and oregano. Cook, stirring, about 1 minute or until fragrant. Add chicken stock, water, bay leaf, beans, tomatoes, wheat berries, and salt; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender and chili has thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Season with vinegar, sugar, and pepper.

Makes 6 servings.

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