Homemade Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup

I enjoyed this black bean soup when I was invited to a friend’s house last week to celebrate my birthday.  It was a delightful lunch and I found out that she had called another friend to see if I would like this soup. Fortunately, my other friend told Anna that I’d be delighted with her soup.  I was!

Anna is from Belize and she likes the food she grew up with, so when we’re at her house, we often get to try new (for us) dishes.  Not only did she dip out this scrumptious homemade black bean soup, she served fresh homemade tortillas on the side.

She acts like it’s no big deal, and it seems effortless to her.  I’ve used her recipe, and I have to think when I’m fixing tortillas. I haven’t perfected them yet, but my tortillas are getting better each time, and they are certainly better than store-bought.

When I asked her for the recipe, Anna had to stop and think a minute.  She has a recipe she “sorta follows”, so she had to figure out what part of the recipe she added and where she did her own tweaking.  I wrote it down word for word as she explained the steps she took.

With this soup, you can fold up small pieces of tortillas and then dip them in the soup.  At least, if you grew up in Anna’s  home in Belize, that’s how you do it. I could eat this several times a week. For a recipe on how Anna makes her tortillas, click here.

For the soup, if you cook the black beans under pressure you don’t need to soak them first.  If you do them in a kettle, soak them according to the package directions. I usually do the quick soak.  While the beans are cooking (in whichever kettle you choose), saute onion, garlic, salt, pepper, until tender and then add it all to the beans.  Add a whole hot pepper (in its case and not “popped”). If you want to add some bacon grease (providing you have some on hand) you can add more flavor to the soup. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for twenty minutes.

black beans


Homemade Black Bean Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
An easy recipe for homemade black bean soup. Plenty of fiber, flavor, and fancy, if you ask me. Simple to make and nutritious as well.
  • Butter, olive oil, or margarine - enough to saute onion and garlic
  • 2 lb. dry black beans
  • Clove of garlic or 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • Onion, chopped
  • Hot pepper - whole
  • Bacon grease 0 optional, for flavor
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Soak black beans according to directions (make sure you use plenty of water) and cook
  2. OR pressure cook for 30 minutes
  3. Saute onions and garlic until done
  4. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper to kettle with beans
  5. Add whole hot pepper. Do not pop the pepper or it will be too hot
  6. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 20 minutes

pinterest black bean soup

Cheddar Chowder

Cheddar Chowder

The first time I had this chowder was the summer of 1991 when our daughter was born.  My friend Cindy Hilty (also a cousin by marriage) brought supper to us – and this was it.  My three boys under five loved this chowder and begged for more.  So of course, I asked Cindy for the recipe. Potatoes, carrots, celery, and cheese are the main ingredients.  A white sauce with butter, flour and milk round out this recipe.

You start out with a white sauce.  Melt your margarine and then stir in flour.  Gradually add milk, stirring so it stays smooth and doesn’t stick.  While you’re doing that, you can be cooking your vegetables in another kettle.  By the time one is done, the other will be also.  Then you add the two together.

Make a large kettle of this and share some with a neighbor. It’s a quick and easy supper.  To reheat, you might need to add a little milk because it thickens while it sits.

Although the chowder is called Cheddar, you can add meat to the kettle.  I’ve used ham, tuna, hamburger or sausage (fried and drained), and salmon.  Our favorite addition is ham.

This chowder is an easy way to use up leftover ham from the holidays.  It works for any day of the week, and especially on chilly evenings when you just want a bowl of soup or chowder.

Cheddar Chowder
Recipe type: Chowder
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
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Serves: 8
This chowder is so easy to fix and perfect for any occasion; spruce it up with a jello salad and rolls, or serve it plain. I've fixed this to welcome a new baby to a home or to provide comfort in the death of a loved one.
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • ½ cup celery
  • ½ cup diced or shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup of one of the following: ham, bacon, tuna, salmon, hamburger, or sausage
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups grated cheese
  1. Cook together the first 7 ingredients (water through pepper)
  2. Do not drain
  3. In another pan, melt butter
  4. Add flour and stir until smooth
  5. Add milk, stirring until slightly thickened
  6. Add cheese and stir until melted
  7. Mix vegetables and sauce together
  8. Add meat of your choice
  9. Heat through and serve.

Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup

Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup ready to serve

On cool fall evenings and on chilly wintry evenings, homemade vegetable soup will fit the bill. Choose your vegetables and add what you like best.

If you’re a fan of garlic, saute one or two cloves of garlic in melted butter while your other vegetables are cooking. Wash potatoes and carrots; you do not need to peel them.  (Remember that the peelings contain the most nutrition.)  Add onion and celery and enough water to cover, then bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down and simmer until almost tender.  Then add corn, lima beans, peas and frozen green beans and the garlic.  If you are adding canned green beans, add them at the end when all they need is to be heated through.

Vegetable Beef soup vegetables simmering

Simmer until the vegetables are tender.  Add canned beef (or fried hamburger, left-over roast, or another meat if you’d rather.)  Heat, adding salt and pepper to taste.  Add your tomato juice or canned tomatoes.   Adding ketchup helps thicken the soup and gives it more flavor – but you can leave this out if you’d like.

If you have some leftover vegetables in your refrigerator, add those at the end of the simmering, with enough time left to heat them thoroughly.  With this soup, you can add more or less of an ingredient according to your family’s preferences. Tweak it to fit your family, and they will be sure to be pleased.



Made From Scratch Vegetable Beef Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1 gallon
Suit yourself - and your family - when you fix this homemade vegetable beef soup. This recipe makes a gallon, so you will have enough to freeze some for later if you'd like.
  • 2-4 cups water
  • 4 cups potatoes - washed and diced
  • 2 cups carrots - washed and sliced
  • 1 cup cabbage - cleaned and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 stalks celery - washed and sliced
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen lima beans
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans (or canned)
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • ¼ - ½ cup ketchup (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2-4 cups canned beef (or fried hamburger)
  1. Place potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and celery in kettle
  2. Cover with water and simmer until almost tender
  3. Add corn, lima beans, peas and green beans and cook until done
  4. While vegetables are cooking, sautee garlic clove in butter, and then add to the vegetables
  5. Add beef, then tomato juice (or canned tomatoes) and ketchup (if desired)
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Savory Chicken Strudel Sandwiches

chicken streudel sandwiches MW


This recipe is so easy to do.  If you’re looking for a fun and easy chicken sandwich recipe, here it is.

One nice thing about this recipe is that you can substitute ingredients for whatever left-over raw vegetables you have in the fridge:  broccoli, carrots, zucchini, squash, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.

You can also substitute other meat for the chicken.  I’ve used ham, turkey, and bacon.  When I use ham, I use swiss or mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar.

Serve these  chicken sandwiches when you need a light, substantial lunch.  You’ll be glad you did.

These sandwiches were baked and served in stoneware from Celebrating Home.

The original recipe credit goes to Taste of Home.  Find more great recipes at www.tasteofhome.com.


Recipe type: main dish - sandwiches
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 servings
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup finely chopped broccoli
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped red pepper
  • ½ tsp. dill weed
  • 4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ½ cup cream cheese (you can substitute mayonnaise)
  • 16 oz. refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 egg white, beaten OR milk
  • 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds
  1. In a bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients. Mix well.
  2. Unroll crescent dough and place in a greased 15 x 10 x 1 in. baking pan.
  3. Press the seams and perforations together, forming a triangle that fits onto your pan. (The dough will hang over edges of pan).
  4. Spread the filling lengthwise down the center of the dough.
  5. On each side, cut strips (approx. 1½ inch wide)
  6. Starting at one end, alternate the strips, twisting twice and laying at an angle across the filling. Seal the ends.
  7. Brush dough with egg white (I just use milk); sprinkle with almonds (optional).
  8. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Cut into slices. Serve warm. 12 servings.


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