Where do I even begin? It has been over a year and a half since I put up a new blog post. So much has happened since I last wrote. Many of you have been following my blog for years and may remember that this space used to be called Buffy & George. It was named after my dogs because this was going to be a fun spot where I would share stories of my life the way blogging used to be back in the day of the journal style blogs. Sadly, both Buffy and George have passed away.
George died on November 18, 2018. He was 16 years old and I have been missing him every day since. Buffy died a little under a year later on November 14, 2019. I thought we would have a few more years with my sweet girl but she was ready to go and be with her brother. My eyes are filling with tears as I write this and the memories of them are whirring around in my mind. They both lived a good life where they were dearly loved by their family.
While we were grieving over our Georgie passing away, we added a new furry baby into our family. We got Henry in February 2019 and we have been so in love with him since day one. Buffy was not always very happy with the puppy but she learned to tolerate him. She even cuddled with him a few times. Henry is a very sweet snuggly boy.
Somehow during this year and a half, I totally lost my voice. My figurative voice that is, and I completely fell away from writing. My struggles with depression played a large part in this. It has stolen my confidence that writing on this very small blog is somehow worthy of sharing. Even now, that bitchy little voice in my head is telling me this is stupid and that nobody cares about this stuff. It is true that this will not reach a large audience but the handful of people that read this truly do care, and you are who I’m writing for. I appreciate every single person who reads this blog.
If you’ve made it this far down the page, I’m sure you are sad that my dogs died and are glad that we have our Henry to patch over the hole in our hearts from the loss of Buffy and George. You may even want to try the recipe that I’m sharing today. It is a household favourite of ours. It serves a crowd but when I make it I put the leftovers in large freezer bags for other meals. I can usually get two large freezer bags full which gives me three meals out of this one batch of soup. My top tip is to put the freezer bags on a cookie sheet in the freezer so that they freeze flat. It cuts the thawing time to a fraction of what it would be if it was frozen in a large blob.
Even my picky kids love this soup. Do you want to know how I got my kids to love a soup with different kinds of beans when they were balking at eating it? I told them that the beans were fart pills and that each bean equaled a fart later on. Yep. They believed me and the boys now want to make sure that they eat at least as many beans as the other because they don’t want to be out-farted. You are welcome to use this parental masterpiece in your own home should your children need encouragement in eating beans. Oh, and just so you don’t think we are complete boors, we don’t encourage them to fart at the dinner table. They can do that later.
I have lots of recipes that I want to share in the future, so I hope this post is just me clearing my throat to really start using my voice again.
Yields 8 adult servings
30 minPrep Time
1 hrCook Time
1 hr, 30 Total Time
- 3 tbsp olive oi
- 1 onion, finely minced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder (optional)
- 3 1/2 cups approx. grated sweet potato (or 3 mid sized sweet potatoes finely chopped)
- 1 540 ml (19 fl oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken (such as leftover rotisserie chicken)
- 4 cups chicken broth (or 4 cups broth + 1 cup water)
- 2 cups frozen corn (less if preferred)
- 1/2 cup whipping cream (35% cream)
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro + more for serving
- 3 green onions chopped
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- chopped cilantro
- chopped green onions
- sour cream
- slices or chunks of avocado
- lots of tortilla chips
- Use a food processor to finely mince the onion, garlic, and bell pepper.
- In a very large pot (at least 5 qts), heat the olive oil over a medium heat and then sautee the minced onion and pepper mixture with a good pinch of salt and pepper until the mixture is soft - about 3-5 minutes.
- While that cooks, use the grating attachment of your food processor to grate the sweet potatoes. If you are not using a food processor, then finely chop the sweet potatoes as small as you like. It will be totally fine if it is chunkier. It will just take the sweet potato longer to soften in the soup.
- Chop of the stems of cilantro and add to the soup. Save the leaves for serving.
- Add the chopped up chicken, and spices with another pinch of salt.
- Pour in the can of diced tomatoes, liquid and all. Then add the chicken broth. Stir and then add the rinsed cans of black beans and red kidney beans. Bring it to a simmer and put the lid on for about 30 minutes. It can simmer for much longer if you need to leave it for a bit. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. Check the seasoning to make sure there is enough salt and pepper to your taste. Add more as needed.
- Add the frozen corn and cream. Bring it back to a simmer for another 10 minutes or so.
- Just before serving add a several tablespoons of fresh cilantro and chopped green onions.
- Serve with optional toppings such as: tortilla chips, fresh cilantro, hot sauce, chopped green onions, sour cream, shredded cheese, lime wedges, and avocado.