Archive of ‘Soups & Stews’ category

Cuban Black Beans

Recipe for Cuban Black Beans

Almost 9 years ago, when the Godfather and I were first married and living on our own, I decided to try and make the Godfather a Cuban meal to help with the homesickness we both felt leaving the familiar comfort of South Florida behind for the first time in either of our lives. One problem though, I had no clue how to make black beans and it would have been entirely unacceptable to just heat up a can of beans and call it good.

 

The Godfather called his mother and asked her how to make black beans. He wrote the recipe down on a little square of paper with yellow and red flowers. That little piece of paper, my mother-in-law’s recipe for black beans, has traveled across the country with us twice. It took me years to get it just right, mostly because I wasn’t ever very patient while the beans were cooking and usually pulled them off too early. So please have patience with this dish, it’s worth it.

Cuban Style Black Beans

Traditionally, black beans are either served on top of white rice as a substantial side dish, or as a soup. If you’d like to serve it as a soup you may feel the need to add a little more broth or water, but I never felt I had to because we like the soup on the thicker side. Just be sure to let the beans cook long enough that some split open and add a nice creaminess to to broth.

I hope you enjoy this recipe from our family to yours! <3

Cuban Black Beans Recipe

Cuban Black Beans
 
My mother-in-law's recipe for black beans
Author:
Ingredients
  • 8 oz dry black beans
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp vinegar (red wine, apple cider, or white all work)
  • 1½ tsp salt, divided (plus more to taste)
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • water or broth
Instructions
  1. Two hours before cooking, preferably the night before, place the beans in a bowl and cover with water to soak (see note).
  2. When you are ready to cook, drain the beans, place them in a pot with new water (you may also use broth) and cover the beans by 1 inch. Add the vinegar, and bay leaf. Turn the heat to medium high to bring the water to a boil.
  3. While the water is coming to a boil, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the garlic, onions and bell peppers with ½ tsp salt until the onions are soft and slightly translucent. Pour all of the sofrito into the pot with the beans, which should have come to a boil by now.
  4. Cover the beans, reduce the heat to medium/medium-low, enough to maintain a simmer, and cook 30-40 minutes until the beans are soft and cooked through. Stir occasionally, add more water if necessary.
  5. When the beans are soft, add the cumin and adjust salt to taste. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
Notes
1. I have forgotten to soak the beans, they'll still cook just fine. Rinse them well to remove any possible debris, and then add a little extra water during the cooking process. It will take a little longer for them to cook.

 

My Favorite Butternut Squash Soup {dairy-free, vegan, Whole30}

Looking at the title for this post with all the dietary qualifiers, I feel like I don’t even sound like myself. Where is the baker Godmother, the cheese-loving Godmother, the Godmother that rivals Paula Deen and Ina Garten in her love of good-quality butter? She’s here. She just started making this soup several years ago by piecing together a few things in the fridge and never really stopped making it that way.

The Best Easy Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

If you had a glimpse into our daily menu, which you sort of do in a way now, you’d see that most of what we eat is very simple, and on the healthier side. It’s simple because the Godfather and I are busy people, we always have been, and healthier because we choose to emphasize whole foods in our diet. We are healthier that way, and in turn, more productive. You really don’t need much to dress up fresh foods, and the flavor is unmatchable by anything artificial. And if you eat healthier, there’s more room for treats… balance!

This soup happened one day in California when the Godfather was off on a business trip and I was fending for myself. When I cook for me and it requires more work than say, salad, I make a big pot and eat leftovers. I had a beautiful butternut squash, probably from the farmer’s market, some homemade broth (maybe… this was around the time I was transitioning away from store bought), onions, garlic, and almond milk in the fridge. My office at the time was on a breakfast smoothie kick and one of the other ladies got me started adding almond milk to my smoothie. So with those ingredients, and probably the motivation of a chilly California evening, I decided to make soup by basically throwing things into a pot, crossing my fingers, and praying it all turned out. Which obviously it did.

Easy Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

I didn’t realize how well it turned out until I took leftovers to work the next day and one of the ladies in the accounting department smelled my lunch and said “What is that? It smells reeeeaaally good!”. I told her how I made it, and made a mental note to make it for the Godfather later. He liked it, so this became how we make butternut squash soup.

In the recipe I used cream of coconut instead of almond milk because that’s what I have right now, and I’m not making my own almond milk just to stay Whole30 compliant. The coconut cream was easier to use and I’ve used it several times before. You may also use regular heavy cream, and I’ve included measurements for almond milk and heavy cream in the notes.

Clean Eating Butternut Squash Soup

My Favorite Butternut Squash Soup {dairy-free, vegan, Whole30}
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Our favorite recipe for butternut squash soup.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 3 lbs), peeled and cubed
  • 5 cups vegetable broth (homemade or store bought)
  • ½ large sweet onion (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 14 oz can of cream of coconut*
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • (optional) ¼ c chopped hazelnuts
Instructions
  1. Heat your olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions, cook for 3-5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook an additional 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the butternut squash and stir to coat, then cook for 2 minutes or so before adding all the broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes until the butternut squash is cooked and can be easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Remove the soup from the heat, scoop out 2 cups of broth, and puree the rest with an immersion blender.**
  4. Place the soup back on the burner over low heat and stir in the cream of coconut, almond milk, or heavy cream. Do not let the soup boil, you just want to warm the new ingredient.
  5. Slowly add in the reserved stock until you have reached the desired consistency. Save the rest for use in a future soup or for making pasta or rice.
  6. Optional To toast hazelnuts, roughly chop the nuts or smash with the broad side of a knife. Place a skillet over medium low heat and add the hazelnuts to the pan. Stir regularly for 3-5 minutes until the nuts are lightly toasted. Immediately remove from heat. Use to top your soup!
Notes
*If not using the coconut cream, substitute 1½ cup almond milk or 1 cup heavy cream. Using the heavy cream will make it neither dairy-free or vegan, but use what you have.
**I don't have an immersion blender currently (it's on my wish list) and our blender broke, so I use my large food processor.

 

 

Winter Kale Beef Soup

Stay warm when it’s cold with nourishing food like this veggie packed winter kale beef soup recipe! * Recipe updated with new photos as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project.

Stay warm when it's cold with nourishing food like this veggie packed winter kale beef soup recipe! * GoodieGodmother.com

Winter Kale Beef Soup Recipe

As I watched my daughter happily shove fistfuls of kale into her mouth, I couldn’t help but feel a mix of horror and delight. Horror at the manner in which she was eating (we are still learning how to use utensils), and delight that she was clearly loving the dark leafy greens on her plate. We are very blessed that she has a healthy appetite and gladly eats whatever we eat, but I always wonder when I introduce a new food if this food will be “the one” that she rejects. The Godmother is very pleased kale is most definitely approved. (more…)

Slow Cooker Chili

I have a confession to make darlings. I nearly got into an altercation, at the farmer’s market, over the crockpot.

Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

Not really, but it sounds more dramatic if I tell it that way. What actually happened was that the Godfather and I ventured out to the farmer’s market last Saturday to pick up some local produce. There was a poultry vendor at the market, and so we stopped by to see what they had for sale and get on their e-mail list. There was another customer in the booth at the time who seemed rather chatty, and said she was debating buying a chicken because she didn’t know if she wanted to cook. And I, conversing back as a polite person would, suggested that she use her crock pot to make the chicken since it requires very little work. She immediately scoffed at me, and said “Oh, some people in my family have owned restaurants so I’m picky about how my food is prepared.” I think even the vendor raised an eyebrow to her tone.

Here’s where there could have been an altercation, but there wasn’t, because I was not going to entertain that level of boorish ignorance on a lovely farmer’s market morning, or any other time for that matter. Not my style, but I did entertain a not-so-pleasant retort for about a half second. I’m human, and that was rude. What a presumptuous comment to be made by someone who has never spent time in my kitchen and has no idea what I feed my family or how I choose to prepare it! I too am selective about what I eat and how it’s prepared, and I love using my slow cooker. In fact, I’m using it right now to prepare Korean short ribs for tonight using this recipe from Nom Nom Paleo and local beef purchased at the market. In addition, while I was at the market, I was shopping for vegetables for today’s recipe, a lovely crock pot chili made with grass fed ground beef, no beans, and lots of good for you vegetables. Not every crock pot recipe involves Cream of Chemicals soup. Can I get an ‘amen’ from my healthy crock pot cooks?

Crockpot Chili No Beans by Goodie Godmother

I think everyone needs a good crowd-pleasing chili recipe. It’s a bonus if it’s simple to make (this is), if it’s also healthy (this is), and if you can make extra to freeze for later (you can). This is my new go-to recipe. Low and slow is the way to go, and while we didn’t freeze any from this batch, I will probably make more soon for freezing, with one minor change – I would replace the potatoes with parsnips. Potatoes change their texture in the freezer and I don’t like it. In my experience, parsnips hold up better and the texture is almost identical in the final product anyway.

Clean Eating Crockpot Chili Recipe

I made mine in a 4 quart slow cooker like this one and it was filled to the brim! To the point that when I make it again, I will be draining one of the cans of tomatoes before adding it to the chili. I did use canned diced tomatoes for convenience and tried to make myself feel better by buying organic. If you too go the can route and are looking to keep this Whole 30 compliant, be sure you purchased diced tomatoes and tomato sauce without any added sugar. Some brands will sneak it in there. It’s probably good to skip the sugar anyway, you don’t need it in chili.

Whole 30 Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

p.s. – If you’re not looking to make this recipe for a paleo or Whole 30 “life plan”, visit the blog tomorrow for a candied jalapeno smoked cheddar skillet cornbread recipe that is a perfect accompaniment! We had that before we started our Whole 7 and it’s so right. 😉

Slow Cooker Chili
 
Prep time
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A no-bean, Whole 30 compliant, clean eating chili that's easy to prepare and incredibly flavorful!
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained (drain 1 if you are using a 4 qt slow cooker)
  • 1 14-oz can no-sugar tomato sauce
  • 10 oz new potatoes, or parsnips
  • salt, to taste
  • (optional) fresh cilantro and avocado slices to top
Instructions
  1. Cut your potatoes or parsnips (peel these) into ½" cubes. Set aside.
  2. Add the onions and garlic to the crockpot
  3. Break up your meat and add to the crockpot
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients
  5. Set the crockpot to low for 7-8 hours or high 3-4 hours until the meat is cooked through and the potatoes (or parsnips) are tender
  6. Top with fresh cilantro before serving if desired.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Pumpkin Saffron Soup

Saffron Butternut Squash Pumpkin Soup

Happy first day of Fall darlings! After a warm weekend the Virginia weather is setting the stage for the change in season with just the slightest chill in the air, and I am “celebrating” with my first head cold in years. We are not amused in the slightest.

Butternut Squash for Roasting

Thankfully, the bug seems to be disappearing as quickly as it appeared, but I am limiting my kitchen time until I am better. I do have a few recipes that still need posting, so those are going up this week, AND, I had the perfect excuse to roast some vegetables and make a comforting autumn soup. You really don’t need an excuse to make this soup though, it’s delicious!

Oven Roasted Butternut Squash

Earlier this week, I picked up a butternut squash to make my “usual” butternut squash soup (not this one, another one I will post one day) because it’s one of my favorite fall comfort foods, and a pie pumpkin to roast for fresh pumpkin puree. The pumpkin puree was originally going to go into some pumpkin ravioli, and then a bourbon-spiked pumpkin roll (with a super cute Halloween-decorating twist). That was not to be this weekend though. Instead, we took advantage of the fact that People Who Are Not Healthy Should Not Be In The Kitchen to work on getting rid of a few more moving boxes. We even hiked out to Ikea to grab cabinets for our kitchen and a few other organizational odds and ends. Our house almost looks livable!

Back to kitchen stories… I roasted the pumpkin for puree Friday morning, when I was still feeling great, so I had some beautiful fresh pumpkin puree I wanted to use and I didn’t really feel like waiting until I felt better to follow the original plan. A quick glance at the spice cabinet to confirm that we had saffron in stock, a little of the homemade chicken stock I made last week, and one oven roasted butternut squash later, and I had the most delicious Plan B evah.

Butternut Pumpkin Puree Swirl

This soup takes about an hour to make, but most of that is just waiting for the vegetables to roast. Then you just scoop everything into a blender or use an immersion blender in a large pot, add seasoning, and serve. It’s also a great freezer-friendly meal, so don’t be afraid to double the batch.

Saffron Butternut Squash Pumpkin Soup by Goodie Godmother

If you have a baby, this is also a great opportunity to make some of your own baby food. I set aside a little extra of the roast pumpkin and squash, pureed together, and spooned it into the reusable baby food cubes I have. Four vitamin-packed preservative-free meals (4 ounces per cube), done!

Parenting side-note for those of you wondering… we are following a self-led weaning plan for Princess A. As she shows interest in age-appropriate foods, we allow her to try them and incorporate them into her diet. She frequently eats what we are eating, so I don’t have a large stash of pre-made baby food for her. Instead we opt to have at least one item on the table that is safe for her to eat, so we can expose her to “real” food and textures. I do like having a few back-up containers of baby-appropriate foods for those times when our food is too spicy, not age-appropriate, or when her meal time doesn’t quite match up to ours.

Roasted Butternut Squash Pumpkin Soup Topped with Crumbled Goat Cheese

I used chicken stock for the soup because that’s what I have on hand, but you may feel free to substitute vegetable stock to make a vegan/vegetarian version.

I like to top this soup with a little sprinkle of cheese, gouda and goat cheese (pictured) are my current favorite options, but I think a poached egg floating on top would also be delicious with a big hunk of crusty bread for dipping.

Roasted Butternut Squash Pumpkin Soup - Goodie Godmother

It might be time to go raid the leftovers…

Roasted Butternut Squash Pumpkin Saffron Soup
 
Prep time
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Saffron scented butternut squash and pumpkin soup is a perfect healthy fall comfort food!
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 small pie pumpkin (about 2 lbs)
  • 3 cups homemade chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp unpacked saffron threads
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ⅛ tsp white pepper
  • olive oil
  • cheese to top (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil.
  2. Wash and dry the pumpkin and butternut squash. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut off the stems and cut the pumpkin and squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and place both on the baking sheet cut side down.
  3. Roast for 35-45 minutes until you can easily pierce the thickest part of the squash and pumpkin with a fork. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Place the three cups of broth in a small sauce pan with the saffron threads. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat.
  5. The butternut squash and pumpkin should be cool enough to handle by now. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh, it should separate very easily from the peel.
  6. Measure out 4 cups of packed squash and 3 cups of packed pumpkin.
  7. Place into a large pot with the broth and blend until smooth with an immersion blender, or puree in batches using a traditional blender.
  8. Add salt and pepper, adjust to taste
  9. Serve warm, top with shredded or crumbled cheese before serving if desired.

 

 

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