Monday, January 5, 2009

From Green Onions to Soup

I rent rooms in my Scappoose house, and showed a man new to the area, through the place yesterday. He liked the quiet privacy of the dormer room, with its great view of the creek, rock garden and fir trees. I showed him a restaurant in town, Ixtapa, and he was nice enough to treat me to supper. I shared my love of sliced green onions on top of the chile rellenos. (They set off Eggs Benedict nicely, also.) He had a tamale and an enchilada, with the bright green onions adding their color, crunch and flavor to the yellow and white cheeses melted in red sauce. We were ravenous, waiting for our meal, eating the fresh authentic salsa and light tortilla chips, asking for another salsa, being offered another bowl of chips. Aahhhh. Mexican food heaven.

Snow began to fall as I was leaving the restaurant. We've not had this much snow in the Northwest for 40 years. I had dog food to buy for a neighbor, some greens to pick up to try a new green smoothie, and I wondered about getting home over the Vernonia Highway summit in the dark. I was not going to risk my life getting the dollar video rental back by 6pm. I ended up sharing the film 'My House in Umbria' with my room renter/friend, and stayed overnight in what I call the elf room. 

My little Geo made it through the slush in the morning, 25 miles to Vernonia. I left my friend a pint of Mattie's Bean Soup that we were going to share for supper, originally, before I got sidetracked.  It's one of those hearty, easy recipes for winter that tastes better the next day, and the next.... 

Mattie's Bean Soup
1. Brown and drain 1 lb. hamburger. (You can use ground turkey, chicken or beef, but I'd suggest meat without nitrates, antibiotics or hormones)New Seasons, Whole Foods, Sheridan's in Portland, Oregon, etc.

2. Blenderize 1 qt. canned tomatoes (or two 14.5 oz.cans) 1 med onion, 1 red bell pepper, 1 tsp seasoning salt, pepper to taste and 3/4 tsp. thyme.

3. Add with 1 qt. water to the drained meat in a large pan, 2 cans drained kidney beans and 2 cups diced raw potatoes. Simmer 40-60 min. Best day after soup is made.

Coming recipes: Fresh salsa, Enchilada Sauce and Green Smoothies.

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