Daily Archives: March 15, 2009

Vegetable and Bean Soup

I have never met someone who loves soup more than Jason. The year before we were married and he was living with some friend in Oshkosh, WI, he would bring soup for lunch every single day. While I enjoy soup, I usually only like to have one bowl a week. Since we have been married, we have stopped buy canned soup (unless it is the low-sodium version and is on sale for $1 per can). Instead, once the first chill of fall comes I start up the crock pot and begin making batch after batch of soup and chili. One crock pot usually makes 4 large yogurt containers worth of soup (we eat a lot of yogurt, so we save the containers). I will keep two in the refrigerator and two in the freezer for later. Soup is fool-proof and works well with pretty much any items we have on hand. I try to always use fresh ingredients, but this is not always possible, so I usually keep extra cans of diced tomatoes, beans, and frozen vegetables on hand. If you use dry beans, be sure to soak them overnight before using them. This well help get some of the gas out and prepare them for cooking. Since the weather finally seems to be turning around (55F and sunny today!) I decided it was a good day for one last batch of soup. Soup can really be anything you want, so if you don’t have or like some of these ingredients, feel free to substitute something else.

Vegetable and Bean Soup
Makes about 1 gallon of soup

  • 2 cans of petite diced tomatoes (I used an onion and green pepper seasoning and garlic, oregano and basil seasoning)
  • 2 cans of water (use the tomato cans)
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen peas
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed well 
  • 1 can of great northern beans, drained and rinsed well 
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  •  1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin


Place all of the ingredients in a 4-5 quart crock pot. Stir well. Cover and cook on the LOW setting for 5 hours. If you use dry beans, you may need to cook it longer. 


Chicken Curry

This recipes goes hand in hand with the last recipe I posted. It was very quick and easy to make – it was ready in about 20 minutes. I had never cooked with curry before, but had eaten may fair share of curry when I went on a volunteer trip to India for a month back in August 2007 with CFHI. Here is a link to some pictures. You need to register to view them (I think), but I will work on moving them into an open viewer. The trip was 4 weeks long and was located in New Delhi, Old Delhi, and Jaipur. We also visited many rural villages. We spent the time observing various public health projects throughout the cities. The entire trip was very humbling and it was my first glimpse into true poverty. Don’t get me wrong, there are people in the US living in poverty, but nothing like this. It is something you can try to explain, but you can not understand until you actually see it in front of you. The trip was amazing and every time I hear anything about India I start to reminisce. Sadly, I have yet to see Slum Dog Millionaire because we are cheap and never go to the movies – I am very excited for when it comes out on DVD and plan to buy it immediately. Maybe that night Jason and I will need to enjoy some delicious chicken curry with some fresh Naan or Roti.

Chicken Curry

Serves 4-6


  • Canola oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into small strips
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups California blend vegetables, frozen  
  • 2 cups baby spinach


  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and curry paste; stir to mix. 
  2. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, milk and brown sugar; bring to a simmer. 
  3. Add California Blend Vegetables, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. 
  4. Stir in spinach and lime juice; cook just until spinach has wilted.
  5. Serve with rice, over pasta, on a sandwich, or in a wrap.

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Posted by on March 15, 2009 in Chicken