Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hot food on a cold night

It's pretty frigid out there, what with the passage of the same storm that's got Tam, Roberta, Brigid and friends snowed in further North.  Miss D. was hungry, Oleg was on the way over, and supper needed to be made.  Hey - it's just after Christmas!  What about Cajun-seasoned spicy turkey and bean soup?

It couldn't be simpler.  This is the very quick-and-easy bachelor-kitchen variety.  You can make it more complex and interesting by frying onions, celery and bell peppers as a foundation, and using fresh ingredients;  but that takes much longer.  This is for when you're in a hurry and very hungry.  It'll feed three to four people with a couple of bowls apiece.  Use a large saucepan;  I suggest 4-5 quarts, to allow room for stirring.

  • 1-2 pounds leftover turkey or chicken, cut into small pieces (I think more is better)
  • 2 tins white/haricot/navy beans, drained
  • 1 tin sliced or diced carrots, drained (I prefer sliced, but YMMV)
  • 1 tin peas, drained (or, if you don't like peas, try any other canned green vegetable for bulk and color - I've used green beans and okra with success)
  • 2-3 cups chicken or turkey stock, to taste

Dump everything into a saucepan and heat, stirring now and again.  When it's hot, add:

  • Black pepper to taste (I like ground Tellicherry pepper)
  • Salt to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Dried onion flakes to taste (not too many!  Alternatively, fry a diced fresh onion in the saucepan before adding the other ingredients)
  • A little paprika for color and flavor
  • Your favorite Cajun seasoning to taste (I use Tony Chachere's, but there are many alternatives)
  • Hot sauce to taste (you can use any brand you wish, but I like the more complex flavor of Cholula.  If you haven't tried it yet, your tastebuds will thank you.  No, they're not paying me to recommend their product - I just like the stuff.)

I make it fairly hot and spicy, but others like it milder.  I suggest adding small amounts of seasoning, tasting the result, then adding more until you're comfortable with it.

The soup will be ready to eat in 10-15 minutes.  Warms you inside and out, body and soul.  Yummy!



Differ said...

Mrs Differ makes something is great, but I am subsequently banished from polite company for several hours!

On a Wing and a Whim said...

...and his wife mutters something about British cooking, and carefully picks every single canned pea out of her soup.