Snow, singing, and a soup recipe

Good morning home bodies! Thursday dumped a big pile of snow on us here in Massachusetts. I know I shouldn’t complain, and I’ll try my best not to but this winter has been so mild that I was starting to get tricked into thinking that we were really getting away with something here! So did the crocus. Poor things! We’ll see how they faired this coming week when the temperatures promise to reach the 40’s. Jim, my husband, seems to think that most of the snow will melt quickly but I’m a little more skeptical.

It has been a pretty quiet weekend (not over yet!) around here but we did do our usual Music Together class on Saturday morning which was especially fun this week. Milo Manny, my 3 year old was in the mood to sing and dance. The class was smaller than normal and he was happy to not have to share the spotlight with so many others. He can be shy in public but at home he’s the farthest from reserved. You can learn more about Music Together.

I love, love, love to cook! Here’s a recipe for Mexican tomato bean soup that I have adapted slightly from a Cooking Light recipe. Quick and easy, and if you’re like me you think that tomatoes and feta equal true love forever. I’ve made it lots in the past but hadn’t brought it out in quite awhile. It’s vegetarian and it hit the spot for our meatless Friday night dinner with cheese quesadillas. Manny is not as picky as most kids his age. He gobbled up the quesadilla quickly, and then picked out and ate all the chickpeas and some of the tomatoes. It was the perfect meal after all that snow from Thursday. I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

Tomato Bean Soup, adapted from an old Cooking Light recipe

For the soup

1 T. olive oil

1/2 c. chopped onion

1 T. chili powder

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

3-4 c. vegetable stock

1 t. dried oregano

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. pepper

1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes

Dumplings

1/3 cup cornmeal

pinch of salt

3 T. hot water

1-2 t. olive oil

Toppings:

1/2 c. crumbled queso blanco or feta cheese

sprinkling of fresh or dried parsley

Heat a soup pan, add the oil, saute the onions until translucent. Add chili powder and garlic and saute about a minute or so more, careful not to burn the garlic. Add broth, water, oregano, salt, pepper, chickpeas, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 or minutes. While the soup is simmering, prepare the dumplings. Mix all ingredients together and roll small balls from the mixture. Drop dumplings gently into soup and cook uncovered for about 3 minutes or until dumplings float to the top. Spoon soup into bowls and top each dish with cheese, and parsley. Yields roughly 4 large servings.

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