Thursday, December 15, 2011

Black Bean and Smoked Sausage Soup with Peppers

This is another good soup for
lunch on frosty winter days.

* * *


3/4 to 1 lb. of smoked sausage (either beef or pork)
2 14.5 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped white onion
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 to 1 red (or green) bell pepper, finely chopped
3 Hatch peppers, grilled, peeled, seeded, and
chopped into small pieces
1 cup beef stock
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried, crushed oregano
Sour cream
Italian parsley


1. Cut sausage into bite-size pieces and fry in skillet
over medium heat until it browns a bit; remove from
skillet and set aside.

2. Sauté onion and garlic in skillet with sausage
drippings for 5 minutes; remove from pan and set aside.

3. Place beans, sausage, onions, garlic, bell pepper,
Hatch peppers, beef stock, water, salt, and oregano
in covered 3 qt. pan and heat to boiling; remove lid
and lower temperature, simmering until soup thickens
to desired consistency.

4. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling
of freshly-chopped Italian parsley.


1. The Hatch peppers I used were rather spicy, so I
didn't need to add any other seasoning but salt. You
could use other types of peppers (serranos, for instance)
or season with cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce.
Or you can make a milder version without hot seasoning,
substituting regular pepper, thyme, oregano, or other
spices to taste.

2. I imagine one could use turkey sausage instead of
pork or beef; it's better, I think, to have a smoked variety
as that enhances the flavor of the soup.

3. Chicken or vegetable stock can be used instead of
the beef stock if desired, or one can replace it altogether
with water, although I think the stock helps give the soup
a richer flavor.

4. Afterthought: It's just occurred to me that one could
easily substitute one can or whole kernel corn for one
of the cans of black beans for an even more Southwestern
kind of soup.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Corn and Bacon Chowder

(Whoops! I accidently let a whole year slip by without updating
here; I hope to do better starting now with a recipe that I came
up with by combining a couple of different ones and adding a
twist or two of my own. Enjoy.)


8 - 12 bacon strips
1 cup chopped white onion
2 medium potatoes
1/2 - 1 minced red bell pepper (Optional)
2 14.5 oz. cans whole kernel yellow corn
2 cups of whole milk (+ about 1/2 cup for mashing potatoes)
1 cup heavy cream
6 - 8 ozs. shredded cheddar cheese
Salt to taste


1. Peel and microwave the potatoes; mash, mixing with
enough milk to make them smooth. Set aside.

2. Cook bacon in frying pan over medium heat; remove
when crisp, drain on paper towels, then crumble. Pour off
about half of bacon fat.

3. While bacon is frying, add corn, milk and heavy cream
to a large saucepan.

4. Sauté onion and red pepper in remaining bacon fat until
tender. Transfer to saucepan.

5. Heat saucepan contents to simmering, stirring in bacon
and cheese; add salt. Stir in enough mashed potatoes to
begin to thicken the mixture. Let pan simmer without boiling
for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chowder
thickens the desired amount.

6. Remove from heat and serve.


1. Instead of whole milk and heavy cream, 2% milk and
half-and-half can be substituted.

2. The amount of mashed potatoes will vary; just use
what seems best to you for the thickness you'd like.

3. Pepper can also be used, although personally I
don't use it in this recipe. Also, if you want a somewhat
spicier chowder, you can easily add some hot paprika,
cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes; I'll most likely
use one of those the next time I make this chowder.

4. This chowder keeps well in the refrigerator.