This is yet another quick and easy weeknight meal, courtesy of my big sis!

Quick! To the recipe!

So why is this dish “forgotten”? Well, because I forgot I made it until I went to edit some other photos and found these pics still living on the same card. Woops! Luckily I also forgot to format my card that day. I then forgot I had this sitting in WordPress as a draft for like – months. See a pattern? Thanks a lot, ADD. At any rate, somehow this whole day is completely stricken from my memory, and I had to really inspect the photos to figure out what this was, and then it hit me: Oh Right! This is when I added ground venison to my sister’s black bean and spinach stew! Technically it’s actually kind of in between a stew and a soup. You can add more water if you’re feeling soupy. I think Rachel Ray would call this a “stoup.”

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So this is a really, really easy recipe, and probably a good way to get your kids to eat spinach. At least if you cover it in enough cheese at the end. This is one of those one pot, under 30 minute weeknight meals, full of fiber, lean protein (plant and animal) and really delicious whether it’s cold outside or not. We like to serve it with tortilla chips for a sort of taco-stew kind of thing. You can dip them in it, or crumble them on top, just whatever you like! The spice here is also in the salsa, which everyone can add to their own taste. So that way everyone can get the amount of spice, or lack thereof, they want.

Southwest Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1lb ground venison
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 can black beans
  • 4-6 cups broth or water
  • 4 cups spinach (packed)
  • 1/2 cup salsa (as hot as you can handle!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar (for garnish)
  • tortilla chips (for serving)

Directions

Step 1
Heat the oil in a pot on medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, some salt and pepper to taste, and the ground beef and brown the meat. Then add the garlic, rice and beans and give everything a good stir until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add 5 cups of broth/water, bring to a boil, and simmer until the rice is cooked, 15-18 minutes.
Step 2
Once the rice is cooked through add the cilantro, salsa and spinach. If the soup is too thick, add up to another cup of water to make it soupy. Stir until the spinach wilts. Serve with tortilla chips, more cilantro, and topped with shredded cheese.

Non-game substitution: You can put ground whatever in this. But honestly, you can leave the meat out all together. It started as a vegetarian recipe to begin with. Meatatarians, don’t get your panties in a wad about protein. The beans, spinach, rice and the cheese all have protein in them. You won’t waste away, pass out, or feel hungry an hour later, I promise.

Vegetarian/vegan substitution: Just omit the meat! Forego the cheese and this is vegan.


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