Slow cooker taco bean soup

I had the bright idea of putting a slow cooker on the wishlist for Christmas, and indeed one appeared under the tree, courtesy of the in-laws. Having tried The Pioneer Woman’s Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup as the first dish and been delighted with the convenience of spending ten minutes on prep in the morning only to come home to a kitchen smelling deliciously of soup after work, I was hooked. There was only one problem with the recipe as we saw it: The chicken. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a vegetarian and I love chicken in the right circumstances, but I can control my enthusiasm for “boiled meat” and so can the husband, and all in all it felt a bit superflous. So. I googled “vegetarian slow cooker bean soup”, glanced at a few recipes and decided to just wing it.
Obviously I winged it on the basis of a somewhat vague recollection of the Pioneer Woman recipe, credit where credit is due, but here’s what went in this morning:
2 very small onions, chopped
1 whole Chineese garlic, chopped
4 carrots, washed but unpealed, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 pack of chopped tomatoes, happening to have basil (this was what we had in the pantry)
1 can of tomatoes with onion and garlic
1 pack of mixed beans (according to the pack, I’d call it mixed legumes, as it contains chickpeas)
1 pack of black beans
the water I used to rinse out the previous four containers (a little over half a litre, at a guess)
1 cube chicken stock (if you’re actually a vegetarian, obviously use vegetable stock instead)
about 1 teaspoon cumin
perhaps half a teaspoon chili powder
a little salt
a little black pepper
And I popped it on Low and left for work. When I came home, some 9-10 hours later, it was bubbling merrily and smelling quite delicious. I ran an immersion blender to smooth it out a bit and then greedily ate three bowlfuls with a little grated cheese and some nachips to garnish.
This made 6 x 1 cup/2.5 dl platefuls, and since I’m half-heartedly watching what I eat at the moment and I’m planning to eat this again (over and over) I roughly calculated the calorie content and came to 1200ish for the whole, that is 200 kcal per 2.5 dl plateful.
Not the most inspiring of pictures, but here are the four containers of "no prep whatever" ingredients. I like those.
Not the most inspiring of pictures, but here are the four containers of “no prep whatever” ingredients. I like those.

Corn Chowder

When in Britain we tend to stock up on cheddar, since you get much better quality for a fraction of the price. So also this time, and since I remembered to plan ahead I brought along a mini cooler we’ve had for a few years which is lightweight and packs flat. I filled that up with cheddar and a bag of frozen corn to help keep it cool. Once home, therefore, I had rather a lot of now thawed corn, and decided it was a good opportunity to try making a corn chowder.

I used this recipe for Corn & Cheese Chowder from the Pioneer Woman as a starting point, but as usual I improvised. And as it turned out rather nice, though I do say so myself, I need to note down what I did…

Instead of using bacon, I substituted some bacon fat I had in the fridge for the butter at the start. I also didn’t have half-and-half (or the Norwegian equivalent) so I used a mixture of semi-skimmed milk and turkish yogurt. And I dropped the bread bowls. Also, some of my quantities were a little skewed. To summarise:

  • Approximately 3 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 1 whole onion finely chopped
  • 2 whole bell peppers diced
  • 1 kg frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 3-4 tablespoons flour (vanlig hvetemel)
  • 3 cubes chicken stock dissolved in 1 litre of water
  • 4 heaped tablespoons turkish yogurt
  • 4-5 dl semi-skimmed milk
  • Approximately 4 dl grated cheese, about half of it British cheddar
  • Five or six spring onions chopped
  • Black pepper

As for the preparation I mostly followed the directions in the original, except for the obvious (adding bacon fat instead of butter at the beginning, skipping the “fry the bacon” step).

Quantity-wise it fed two easily, with enough left over for another dinner for two.

Baking med en 4-åring


Vi bakte polarbrød forrige helg. Vi bruker oppskriften fra Alvebento-bloggen, bortsett fra at vi bruker vanlig melk. Denne gangen ble det også vanlig (økologisk) sukker og en del mer diverse grovt mel, siden det viste seg at vi ikke hadde fullt så mye hvetemel som vi trengte. Snuppa synes disse er kjempegode og spiser helst ikke annet brød. Fordelen fra mitt ståsted er at det ikke er noe skorpe som ikke blir spist opp – noe som er et problem ofte nok med vanlig brød – og at jeg har kontroll på ingrediensene. Sist oppdaget jeg at det funket vel så fint å bruke pepperkakeformer til å lage fordypninger med som å prikke – og det går dessuten mye fortere. Snuppa hjelper til å bake ut, med varierende entusiasme. Derav den noe uortodokse fasongen på det nederste brødet. Så lenge hun spiser dem opp er jeg ikke så nøye på hvordan de ser ut.

Surrendering to the joys of anticipation

I guess it’s a natural byproduct of reading foodblogs that your mouth starts watering… A Spoonful of Sugar has done that before and does it again, as well as setting my heart a-racing and my stomach a-fluttering when I think that in a very short while indeed (though not short enough, never that) I will be in Scotland. Yay.

Anyway, on to the British 100, and the rules, should you choose to play along: 1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions. 2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten. 3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

1. Grey squirrel (they’re the invaders, aren’t they? In that case, I would certainly like to try them.)
2. Steak and kidney pie
3. Bubble and squeak
4. Spotted dick (must be doused in proper custard)
5. Hot cross buns
6. Laver bread
7. Toad in the hole
8. Shepherds pie AND cottage pie
9. Scotch egg (being the scottophile that I am, I really should try them, shouldn’t I?)
10. Parkin (I beg your pardon? Ah, I might just have tried it, but I’m not sure.)
11. Welsh rarebit
12. Jellied eels (Uhm. No, I don’t think so.)
13. Stilton 
14. Marmite (And didn’t I wish I hadn’t)
15. Ploughman’s lunch
16. Cucumber sandwiches
17. Coronation chicken 
18. Gloucester old spot (not knowingly, anyway)
19. Cornish pasty (Love it, love it. love it! Still have plans to try making my own.)
20. Samphire
21. Mince pies
22. Winkles
23. Salad cream
24. Malt loaf 
25. Haggis (Mmmmmmmmmmm)
26. Beans on toast
27. Cornish clotted cream tea
28. Pickled egg 
29. Pork scratchings
30. Pork pie
31. Black pudding
32. Patum Peperium or Gentleman’s relish
33. Earl grey tea
34. Elvers
35. HP Sauce (not a fan, though, but the husband is)
36. Potted shrimps
37. Stinking bishop (the pear or the cheese? I’d try either or both)
38. Elderflower cordial 
39. Pea and ham soup (I don’t like peas, so that’s a bit of a non-starter)
40. Aberdeen Angus Beef
41. Lemon posset
42. Guinness  (Why is Guinness on a British 100?)
43. Cumberland sausage
44. Native oysters (Not keen on trying oysters, native or otherwise)
45. A ‘full English’ 
46. Cockles
47. Faggots
48. Eccles cake
49. Potted Cromer crab
50. Trifle
51. Stargazy pie
52. English mustard
53. Christmas pudding
54. Cullen skink
55. Liver and bacon with onions
56. Wood pigeon
57. Branston pickle
58. Oxtail soup
59. Piccalilli
60. Sorrel
62. Chicken tikka masala
63. Deep fried Mars Bar 
64. Fish, chips and mushy peas (though I normally pass on the peas, but I have tried them)
65. Pie and mash with liquor
66. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
67. Pickled onions
68. Cock-a-leekie soup
69. Rabbit and Hare
70. Bread sauce 
71. Cauliflower cheese
72. Crumpets
73. Rice pudding 
74. Bread and butter pudding
75. Bakewell tart
76. Kendall mint cake
77. Summer pudding
78. Lancashire hot pot
79. Beef Wellington 
80. Eton mess
81. Neeps and tatties
82. Pimm’s
83. Scampi
84. Mint sauce (And staying away from it thenceforth)
85. English strawberries and cream
86. Isle of Wight garlic
87. Mutton
88. Deep fried whitebait with tartare sauce
89. Angels on horseback
90. Omelette Arnold Bennett
91. Devilled kidneys
92. Partridge and pheasant
93. Stew and dumplings
94. Arbroath smokies
95. Oyster loaves 
96. Sloe gin
97. Damson jam
98. Soda bread
99. Quince jelly
100. Afternoon tea at the Ritz (on my list of things to do)