Sunday, August 28, 2011

Smoky, Soupy Pinto Beans with Cilantro-Lime Pistou for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays (+ a Fairy Hobmother Visit!)

I opened the freezer door the other day and a bag with two smoked turkey drumsticks fell out. Luckily it missed my toe, and it reminded me that I shouldn't let them go to waste (and that I should clean out the freezer!). Partnered with my excessive pantry stash of dried pinto beans, the smoky turkey legs made a ginormous slow cooker batch of tasty comfort food.

There is nothing fancy about soupy pinto beans so when I invited my friend Nat over for an impromptu dinner, I gussied them up a bit--using a leftover jalapeno half, a lime and most of a bunch of cilantro to make a pistou/pesto sauce to drizzle on top. We ate the beans on top of bowls of baby spinach and arugula with the pistou and served along with some quick quesadillas with goat cheese and green chilies. Of course I was a bad blogger and too lazy and way too ready to eat to take the time snap a picture of it. Instead, I took pictures the next morning, when a bowl of the beans topped with the pistou and a sprinkle of goat cheese made a delicious brunch.

Smoky Pinto Beans with Cilantro Pistou
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes a whole lot of beans)

4 cups dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
1 or 2 smoked turkey legs (or sub ham hocks or bacon if desired)
1 large onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp cumin, or to taste
1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Place the beans, turkey legs, onion, garlic, cumin and cayenne into a large slow cooker, and add cold water enough to cover the beans by about two inches. Stir, cover and cook on low heat for 7 hours or until beans are to the desired tenderness. Remove turkey legs from beans and allow to cool. For creamier beans, remove about 2 cups and some cooking liquid, puree them, then add them back into the beans. When the turkey legs have cooled, pull the meat from the bones, chop it into small pieces, and add back to beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with the Cilantro Pistou.
Cilantro-Lime Pistou
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen

1 large bunch of cilantro leaves, washed and drained
1/2 jalapeno
pepper (or more if desired)
juice of 1 lime
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a small food processor, place the cilantro leaves and jalapeno and process down until fairly finely chopped. Add the lime juice and enough olive oil to process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Notes/Results: The beans are delicious on their own--nice and smoky from the cumin and the smoked turkey, but the pistou really livens them up with the brightness of the lime and cilantro and the slight spicy kick of the chili. It makes a simple bowl of beans a bit more interesting.A little goat cheese doesn't hurt either. I tend to make my beans more savory/smoky than spicy and liven them up with a little hot sauce at the table, but feel free to add more chili pepper when cooking them. This is cheap and filling comfort food, full of fiber and it tastes great too.

Now let's visit the Souper Sunday kitchen and see who is here this weekend.

Tigerfish from Teczcape - An Escape to Food made an Indian-Style Black Beans Curry and says, "Channa (Chickpeas) Curry should have been done with chickpeas (garbanzo beans); BUT this was tweaked and done with black beans. As an alternative, the dish turns out quite different in terms of taste and flavor, not undermining its deliciousness fortunately. Was it luck? NO. The traditional spices used for Channa Masala or Channa Curry really help to bring everything together.

My good pal girlichef is the official soup princess this week, with three bowls of soupy goodness to share. First up, although she went on a year-long quest to fins the perefct bowl of tortilla soup, her all-time Favorite Tortilla Soup was under her nose all along. She says, "Even after all of the tasting and first favorite remains my current favorite. This will always be the tortilla soup that all other tortilla soups must measure up to. What can I say?"

About her 15-Bean Soup with Smoked Pork and Beans girlichef says, "'...I've never been one to shun soup in the summertime. I eat other hot things, so why not a bowl filled to the brim with healthy goodness that wafts up and slaps you in the face as you lean over to get a whiff? Make a big pot one day. Enjoy. Divide up the leftovers...maybe freeze a jar. What you have left in the fridge, you can ladle into individual bowls to reheat for quick meals." A girl after my own soup-loving heart. ;-)

Sadly, her third soup, a version of Jamie Oliver's Sweet Corn and Shrimp Chowder was not her favorite meal of the week. girlichef says, "While I had high hopes for this bowl of chowder, it wound up being just okay. We liked it. We ate it. But it probably won't be something we make again. But if I do, I'll use at least double the shrimp and the corn. It wasn't the pretty yellow I imagined it would be either. Oh well. It wasn't our favorite meal of all time, but it was pretty good...totally edible."

Kim at Stirring the Pot had better luck with Jamie's Pea and Mint Soup and managed to use up some of her surplus frozen peas in the process. She says, "So, if you're like me and you have a mega ton of peas in your freezer and an astounding amount of mint in your garden, then this recipe is for you! Not only is it healthy, but we thought it was quite delicious and filling. My non-soup loving husband even had two bowls."

Michelle at Ms. EnPlace made both a soup and a salad from Jamie Oliver this week but as she found the soup just to be so-so, she wants to focus on the salad, this colorful Roasted Carrot & Avocado Salad w/ Orange & Lemon Dressing. Michelle says, I've never had roasted carrots in a salad before, but now I want them all the time. In every salad I eat. The combination and textures of the avocado and roasted carrots was rich and very filling. We could have eaten this as a meal."

Janet from The Taste Space has a refreshing, packed-full-of-good-things Grilled Eggplant and Mango Noodle Salad with a Sweet Chili Dressing. Janet says, "The result was a wonderful merriment of flavours. You have the grilled, creamy, smoky eggplant pairing beautifully with the sweet, tangy mango with a slightly spicy sauce, all overtop zucchini noodles. The tofu added a nice, satisfying crunch."

Good friends and great dishes this week--thanks to everyone who joined in! If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, simply click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar for all of the details.
***Fairy Hobmother Alert!***

I have been seeing Fairy Hobmother visits all over recently and so I left a comment on my friend Kim's blog, Stirring the Pot, in hopes of a visit. A few days later, I was delighted to receive my own Fairy Hobmother visit and he was kind enough to leave a gift card to for me to pick out something fun. A big mahalo (thank you!) to my Fairy Hobmother from the land of Appliances Online! If you are longing for a little magic of your own, it might just happen. Leave a comment on this post saying you'd love a visit and you may be picked to receive a wonderful treat from the Fairy Hobmother.
Have a healthy, happy, week!


  1. Looks like soup is in again! Summer will be over soon! Thanks for the round-up :)

  2. Congratulaions on the Fairy Hobmother!

    And thanks for hosting another tasty round-up. Pintos, smoked turkey, and lots of speak my language! I can also relate to misc. items falling out of the freezer.

    Would love for the Fairy Hobmother to stop by and visit me!

  3. Lovely soup, Deb. I always find that when I choose not to photograph a meal, I end up really liking it and desperate to photograph leftovers. :)

    Another great round-up and I hope the fairy hobmother visits me, too! Gosh, she has been every where! Awesome for you!

  4. Your soup looks very yummy - perfect for the cooler weather that will surely be headed our way soon.

    And of course, I'd love a visit frmo the Fairy Hobmother, too!

  5. I would love a visit from the Fairy Hobmother! But in the meantime, I would settle for a bowl of soup.

  6. oh, wow! that looks so good! a must try recipe.

  7. That soup looks like a nice change of pace from the average fare.

  8. That is a beautiful bowl of brothy beans! and a delicious roundup. Congrats on your visit from the Fairy Hobmother! =)

  9. The pistou is really such a pretty touch to this soup! Adds a brightness to that smoky flavor you've got going on!

  10. I didn't get you my soup link in time for Souper Sunday :-( Maybe next time.

    The Fairy Hobmother?! Lucky you. I wish he'd visit me in Florida. I'll leave the gate open...could use a bread maker to help with my time management.


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