Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cranberry Bean Soup

When I woke this morning, it was cool and rainy and a Monday.  For those of you who have been following the blog for a while, you are aware that Monday in the fall/winter means soup in our house. This tradition started years ago to accommodate my daughter's swim schedule.  While her schedule has changed dramatically, I still tend to make soup on Monday.

I was feeling a bit under the weather this morning after a long weekend and not as much sleep as I would have liked.  It was homecoming weekend #2, last weekend was my son's school and this past weekend was my daughter's. It was also our annual trip to Octoberfest with Brian's college friends and we had to get Jack off to his Senior retreat early Sunday. So, I decided to take a favorite shortcut.

Last year I blogged about Frontier Soups. For those of you who are new to the blog, Frontier Soups has a large variety of soups that take 30 minutes to a couple hours to make.  The quick varieties are great and a family favorite is the Chicken Tortilla soup.  Today I decided to make a heartier variety, and I chose the Cranberry Bean Soup. The trick to these long cooking soups is to break it into sections.  I set the beans for the initial soak and then went to work. I got back around 10:30 and I cooked the beans for the 1 hour requirement.  I then went about the rest of my day, a little more work, a swim(I missed the AM practice this morning) and a trip to the grocery store.  When I returned, I finished the soup, all except the addition of the spinach which I did right before serving.

The day turned into a beautiful fall day with bright sunshine and 70 degrees, but it was still a Monday so soup and bread was the meal.

I had received a beautiful bunch of Kale in my CSA box last week and I had a load of tomatoes that needed to be used so I did alter the recipe slightly.  When I was sauteeing the onions, I did add some garlic and some chopped tomatoes(about 2 cups?).  I also substituted the fresh Kale for the frozen spinach.

I highly recommend these soups...while they may seem a bit pricey, they really turn into great soups with a homemade taste, unlike most other mixes I have tried. All I added was a bit of tomato, sausage, onion and kale and I have a huge pot of soup, two full meals for the family.

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