Friday, June 22, 2012

Southwestern Spaghetti Squash Soup

I usually see spaghetti squash get rave reviews in the blogosphere. There are a ton of recipes out there, and some even use it as a replacement for pasta. I’ve tried it a couple different ways, but I just can’t seem to jump on the bandwagon. So when we got a spaghetti squash in our Bountiful Basket recently, I knew I’d need to find something different to do with it.

I’ve had good luck with other squash in soups before so that seemed a good place to start. The internet delivered this recipe and I decided to give it a try, with a few changes.

Southwestern Spaghetti Squash Soup

June 22 2012 043-002

  • 1 1/3 cups dry, uncooked black beans (or 2 cans black beans, drained)
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced small
  • 1/2 cup roasted green chiles, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream

If you are using dry black beans, you need to start several hours in advance. Rinse the beans, place in a large pot and cover generously with water. Bring to a boil, then cover and set aside to soak for one hour. In the mean time, preheat the oven to 375. Place the whole spaghetti squash on a baking pan and bake for about an hour, or until a knife slides in easily. When cool enough to touch, cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and discard. Scoop out the flesh and set aside.

Once the beans have soaked, drain the water and rinse the beans thoroughly. Cover with water and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Let simmer until tender, at least one more hour (possibly more). When beans are done, drain and set aside.

In your soup pot, heat olive oil and throw in the onions and garlic. Cook for a couple minutes, then add green bell pepper, jalapeno and green chiles and cook for a few minutes more. Add spices and cook for a minute or so until fragrant. Add tomatoes and stir, then add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.

In a blender, combine most of the spaghetti squash with about a cup of the cooked black beans. Add a few ladles full of the soup and puree. Add puree, remaining spaghetti squash (I gave the strands a rough chop first) and remaining black beans to the soup. Add salt to taste (I needed about 1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt, but start with less and work your way up). Soup is ready when heated through.

Serve with cilantro, shredded cheese and sour cream.

The verdict: very good! As Paul said last night, we have found it’s hard to go wrong with Southwestern soups in our house. I will definitely have this on my list of go-to spaghetti squash recipes. By itself. At least for now. Do you have a tasty spaghetti squash recipe? Feel free to share!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Old Wisdom

There’s an old saying. Actually, there are a lot of old sayings, but I’m thinking of one in particular. You may have heard it before.


June 14 2012 051-001

Keep your friends close.


June 14 2012 052-001

But keep your enemies closer.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Midnight Snack?

Fact: Jacinta loves her new sleeping arrangements. For the most part she stays in bed once we put her there but there are the occasional late night and early morning wanderings.

Fact: Jacinta has recently learned how to open the refrigerator. Which is, incidentally, why we have run out of apples already this week.

Eyewitness account: The other night I heard the pitter-patter of little feet in the hallway that could only precede a little Jacinta wandering into our room. It was one o’clock in the morning, so Paul dragged himself out of bed and I followed. Apparently she had run out of water because she handed her cup to Paul and he went to the kitchen to fill it. Meanwhile I stumbled into the room in order to get her tucked in and resettled. But first she had to hand me something. It was an artichoke.


June 6 2012 005-001

Strange choice for a midnight snack, but to each her own.


June 6 2012 014-001

As she handed it to me she babbled something unintelligible, but her tone of voice said, “Here Mom, I don’t need this anymore. You can put it away.”

Thanks, Cinta.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Question of the Day

June 4 2012 018-001

Me singing: He’s got the whoooooole woooooorld in his hands…

Veronica: No, Mom. Don’t sing. (What mother hasn’t heard that before!)

Me: Well okay then.

Veronica: God has the whole world in his hands?

Me: Yep.

Veronica: Well where does he put the world when he is done holding it?