Tag Archives: beef base

Kale and Black Bean Fajita Soup


Today has been rainy and dreary which has always been good days for soup. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I had black beans and skirt steak. I wanted to add some color, so I bought some kale and corn at the store.

Add some spices to give it a Mexican flair, and you have a hearty meal.

3/4 pound skirt steak
Olive oil
Fresh cracked black pepper
Tony Chachere’s
Chili powder
1 12 ounce package mirepoix
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups kale, chopped
2 ears raw sweet corn, kernels removed
1 Serrano pepper
1 cup Chardonnay
1 teaspoon beef base
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I was out of oregano)
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1/4 pound black beans, cooked

Pat steak dry and rub with oil, pepper, Tony Chachere’s, and chili powder.

Sear steak in hot cast iron Dutch oven.
Remove steak and set aside for later.

Add mirepoix garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.

Add kale, corn and Serrano pepper. Sauté until kale is wilted.

Add wine and reduce.

Add beef base, crushed tomatoes, water, chili powder, Italian seasoning (or oregano), paprika, thyme, cumin, and black beans.

Cover and simmer 45 minutes to an hour.

Cut steak against the grain into strips and add to soup or top each individual bowl.

Season to taste and eat with flour tortillas or cornbread.

My First Crack at Field Peas


It’s nice to get settled back into my regular routine. The past two weeks involved a lot of travel and lots of sweat in the kitchen. All part of being a volunteer of Mercy Chefs. I was given an awesome chef coat, too. Does that make me a chef? Maybe not, but I look cool rockin’ it with a pair of plaid shorts.

Much of the time we eat beans and rice. When we get tired of beans and rice, we will vary our menu with rice and beans. This is part of our effort to extricate ourselves from debt bondage and I will be relieved when we are delivered from it.

I’ve eaten Glory Foods‘ field peas many times, but today I decided to make them myself. I find a lot of similarity between my bean recipes, but what more do you want than mirepoix and some meat for flavor?

I must warn you that I use Tony Chachere’s cajun seasoning a lot. I was reminded of this Friday in Louisville, MS. I had already made 200 pounds of meatloaf with the aid of two assistants and I was tasked with heating up some broccoli as our initial batch of vegetables ran out. I tossed the infernal crucifer into the pan to steam and liberally applied Tony Cachere’s. The chef comes in and spots the spices and said, “You and your cajun seasoning!” What can I say? I like it.

Based on the ingredients on hand I determined that the best course of action was to use the “seek and dump” method.

1 pound field peas, rinsed and sorted
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 smoked ham shank piece
1 12 ounce bag Pictsweet Seasoning Blend (I’d chop my own vegetables if I wasn’t feeling puny from my travels.)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Tony Cachere’s
1 tablespoon beef base
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano

Brown bacon and ham shank. Add seasoning blend and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.

Dump remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Cover and summer on low, stirring occasionally for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until peas are tender.

Remove ham shank and remove and chop meat. Return to pot.

I don’t use a lot of salt as I use a lot of salty cajun seasoning and salty meat. Once done, season to taste.

Serve on rice. Or whatever.