Saturday, January 16, 2016

Anna Sultana’s Pumpkin Black Bean Soup / Preparing Dried Beans / The Full Wolf Moon & Five Planets Align

We’re having a really cold weekend here in the prairies, including Winnipeg.
No, you don’t want to know how cold it is.
I'm not complaining.
We know how to dress for it.

With weather like this we need all the help we can get to stay warm.
Salads just won't work.
It's time to make soup.


You can use other beans if you prefer.
It's your choice to use either beef, chicken or vegetable broth.

This soup is easy to make and freezes well.

Have dried beans? 
No problem.  It’s easy to use them in this recipe.
If you're trying to use dried beans, they'll need a little prep work in advance.
One Cup of dried beans will give you an amount equal to about 3 Cups canned.
If soaked for 12–24 hours, cooking time can be shortened by around 30 minutes.

Place in a bowl
2 Cups dried beans
enough cold water to cover by 2 inches
Let stand for 4 hours, or overnight, in the refrigerator.
If the beans appear above water level, add more water.

Drain the beans and place them in a pot with fresh water to cover by 1/2 inch.
Over low heat, bring to a simmer.
Cover the pot and simmer about 1 hour.
If the beans appear above water level, add more water.
When the beans are soft, drain and use as canned.
For this recipe you’ll need about 6 Cups of prepared beans.

Just a thought… you may as well prepare extra beans.
They’re handy to have.
Just store them in the refrigerator until needed.

This post has links for a few of Ma’s soup recipes.
Enjoy and stay warm!

                        Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Place in a blender or food processor
3 19 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 Cups broth
Puree until smooth.

Place in a Dutch oven
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Cup chopped red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
Cook on low heat until the onion and garlic begin to brown.
3 Tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice

the pureed beans, tomatoes and broth mixture.
1 28 ounce can pumpkin puree
2 Cups broth
Simmer, uncovered, about 40-45 minutes.
Stir in 
3 Tablespoons vinegar

Garnish each serving with
Baked pumpkin seeds (optional)

Of course, Ma served soup with Maltese hobz.

About the sky this week…
According to the Farmers Almanac:

On January 18, in the evening, look to the southeast to see the waxing gibbous moon, Aldebaran and the “Seven Sisters”, the Pleiades Star Cluster. You may need binoculars because of the glare of the moon.

On January 19 a stellar eclipse will be visible for almost all of the United States. The moon passes in front of the star that marks the orange eye of Taurus, the Bull. That star is Aldebaran, the 13th brightest in the sky. 
To find it locate the three stars of Orion’s Belt. Then draw an imaginary line through the belt to the right. The first bright star you come to will be Aldebaran with its distinctive reddish-orange glow. 
The ancient name, from Arabic, means “the Follower,” as the star seems to follow the Pleiades, or “Seven Sisters” star cluster, across the sky.

On January 20 Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will align in the sky for the first time in more than 10 years. The five planets will all be visible from Earth early Wednesday morning. Best to see around an hour or so before sunrise. The alignment is set to continue through Feb 20. Binoculars and telescopes are not needed!

On January 22 look to the east during the evening to see the nearly-full moon very near to close to Gemini’s brightest stars, Castor and Pollux.

On January 23 see the Full Wolf Moon at 8:46 p.m. To see how this full moon got its name, watch this Farmers’ Almanac short video: January's Full Wolf Moon


  1. Oh Margaret! You paid a tribute to the future Full Moon!!! I was kinda wishing I was going to post on that day. I've never done a post on the Wolf Moon.

    As for your Pumpkin Black Bean Soup recipe, oh yum! It isn't something I've tried before because I don't usually cook with pumpkin. However, Margaret I sure wish I hadn't waited so long. Thanks for sharing, Margaret...

  2. Hi, Louise! The credit for the moon info goes to the Farmers Almanac. I love the information they share about things that happen in the sky!

    We're having -30º to -40º C temperatures. Definitely time for soup!
    Ma used pumpkin in her soups more than she did in her desserts. Hope you enjoy the soup.
    Stay warm!

  3. This looks great- I'm looking forward to trying it. I appreciate you linking on Carole's Chatter, where I found it (pinned it on my pinterest page : )

    1. Hi, Anna,
      It's nice to have met you thanks to Carole's Chatter's monthly food page.
      I hope you like the soup and will find other recipes here that you'll enjoy, too.
      Stay well ~ Marg


All comments are moderated. Spam will not be posted.