Friday, October 14, 2011

A Soupy Disappointment

Butterbean Corn Soup

Or:
Don't Look At Me - I'm Hideous!!

I had a rare kitchen disaster yesterday. With the price of things as high as they are, especially for the healthier version of some foods, I usually only make "tried and true" meals, making only minor variations. Those of you who have read this blog during previous VeganMoFo's may have noticed some of the same dishes carried over from year to year, sometimes week to week.

This soup is one of them.

I make this a lot, especially on days when I'm rushed. And why not? It's so fast to put together and many times it's ready in 5 minutes.

Here's the basic recipe, as I have it written in my AZZ Cardfile program:

Butter Bean and Corn Chowder

2 cans butter beans
2 cans creamed corn
2 cups water
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 clove garlic, pressed
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt


Combine all ingredients. Simmer 30 minutes until carrots and celery are done to your liking.

Notes:  This is a slightly modified recipe posted by Pat on the McDougall board who got it from the www.fatfreevegan.com website who credits the Vegan Handbook for the recipe. It was very good poured over fork mashed fingerling potatoes. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now, as I've written many times before, I'm lazy and use shortcuts. Instead of fresh celery and and carrots I used dried celery flakes and dehydrated diced carrots. This is nothing new - I do this about every other time I make the soup. I used Pacific no salt added broth instead of water, garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. I omitted the added salt, as I always do. I've done it this way more times than I can remember. And it always turned out delicious.

What did I do different this time that made it so unappetizing, at least to ME? I used no salt added corn and no salt added beans. In the past I used one or the other, never both ingredients. It usually takes fine. Yesterday, not so much.

My husband had no problem with it, mainly because he dumps salt on everything he eats, anyway, usually before he even tastes it. We're married 34 years next month and he's used to me cooking the low-sodium way. He sometimes dresses this soup up by pouring ketchup into the bowl.

But for me, it was inedible. I wound up eating toast for dinner last night.

Today, my boys are eating their pizza and I'm making up a batch of boring hash browns with onions. Tomorrow is pasta day, and the big whoop for our meal will be fried up onions, garlic and mushrooms that I add to the "sauce" - a box of Pomi diced tomatoes sprinkled with Italian herb blend.

This will be our first Saturday "off" in almost 6 months, and we plan to enjoy every minute of it. A Trader Joe's opened up less than 10 miles from here, just a block away from the Barnes and Noble store I desperately want to go to, down the road from a mall where I need some items, which is a few miles down the road from the nearest fabric store from where I have a list of items I need to get. (Excuse the grammar - I'm still half asleep).

Anyway, because every one of our days off in recent history have revolved around the elderly aunt and this is the first weekend where she's safe and secure in the nursing home and we don't have to go to her house an hour away because the real estate agent is having an open house all weekend, we're finally free to do what WE need to do for ourselves. Besides not having the time to go to all those stores I mentioned above, we save a trip to that area until we have a full agenda because although it's less than 10 miles away, it's located in a borough of NYC that's now a $12 toll bridge away. We used to go frequently when the toll was under $5, not so much, maybe once every 6 months, when it was $8, but now that it's up to $12 (with plans to increase it to $14 or more in 2014), we make a day of it. I always packed a lunch to eat in the car between stores/malls, but with Trader Joe's now on the route, I just might leave it to chance that I can grab something to eat there. Then again, that will probably be our last stop (Gotta remember to toss the frozen food bag into the car later) so perhaps I better make up some taters to eat along the way.

What an exciting week, store-wise. First we get a Walmart within walking distance of our house opening Wednesday, years after the city kept rejecting the permit, and now Trader Joe's! If only that TJ's also opened up here instead of across the bridge, I'd be all set!

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