Today is not very warm or nice out, it is March 10th and currently a bone chilling -20 Celsius without windchill. This winter has been a cold cold cold winter. Normally here in Calgary we get the relief from Chinooks, a Chinook is a warm western wind that blows in from the ocean to the interior. It is a native word that refers to the people who originally inhabited this land, but they also claim that it means "ice-eater". When a Chinook blows in there can be these extremes in weather, temperature and our wardrobes.
The famous Leonardo DiCaprio encountered this weather phenomenon and literally was freaking out saying that it was global warming right before his eyes. Locals were pulling his leg saying "they have never seen anything like it". I remember that day that he was referring too, it was -20 one day and plus 15 the next, I wore flip flops that day. When Chinooks come it is a welcomed relief to the hardships of the cold temperatures on the prairies. But this year we didn't get that many, so it just seemed like a longer winter, also we had more consecutive days with the extreme cold temperatures then we have had in a long time.
So today I think is very much a soup and fresh bread kind of day. This soup can be 100% vegetarian or vegan if you exchange the chicken stock for vegetable stock. It was a hearty soup that was nice and warm, filled me up and I got to eat a few servings of veggies and plant based proteins.
Hearty Veggie and Bean Soup
1 14 ounce jar of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 cup of green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup of uncooked quinoa
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 can of tomato paste
2 large cans of whole peeled tomatoes, I use my home canned tomatoes
3 cups of chicken stock, or vegetable stock
1 to 2 cups of water
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of celery salt
2 teaspoons of basil
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of sage
1 teaspoon of marjoram
You could also add 1 teaspoon of chili flakes for some heat
Peel and dice all the veggies into 1 inch pieces.
Add all the ingredients minus the quinoa into the crock pot. Set on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 2 to 4 hours.
During the last hour if on high or the last two if on low add the quinoa and stir in.
Taste the soup to make sure it has enough salt and pepper. Add more if needed.
When done serve in a bowl with some fresh hot buns or bread.
This soup just really hits the spot, especially because it is so dang cold out. You can add other veggies or other beans, I think chick peas would be great in this as well. I love making bread and especially when it is warm and straight out of the oven to accompany my soups. A few good ones are easy whole wheat bread, crusty bread, and whole wheat artisan bread.
Stay warm my friends and hope for warmer days soon!
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