So here is my confession, I LOVE the concept of using a crockpot so dinner time is not crazy around here. However, the reality is … mornings aren’t really any LESS crazy. After I get the big kids off to school and the little kids fed, bathed, dressed, hit the gym, and get the house tidied up a bit it seems like the morning is over and I have missed my timeframe to throw something in the crockpot. Right after school we have to get our piano practicing done, and depending on my kids’ behavior this can really cut right into my dinner prep time. So what is a girl to do? Does this sound like anyone else out there? Enter a few of my favorite things to save time on dinner: A pressure cooker and FOOD STORAGE.
I have pinned a bunch of crock pot recipes on Pinterest (follow us!) and one of my favorite sources is A Year of Slow Cooking. She cooked in her crockpot every day for a YEAR! Anyway I had bookmarked this Salsa, Chicken, and Black Bean Soup recipe because I am trying to find more recipes my family likes that include BEANS. Well on a normal busy night, while I was helping my oldest with his piano, I decided I would give up on crock-potting it and pull out a few food storage tricks. I formulated my plan and put it into action around 5:40 pm.
Salsa, Chicken, and Black Bean Soup (food storage version)
2 cups freeze dried chicken (I like these ones that are nice big chunks)
1 1/2 cups instant black beans (or canned beans)
1 cup freeze dried corn
4 1/2 cups chicken broth (or water/bouillon)
12-16 oz salsa
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
Add your chicken, instant beans, and corn to your pressure cooker (I use this Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker and love it!). Pour the chicken broth over top and stir everything in. (If you use more fresh foods rather than freeze dried you can reduce the broth to only 4 cups). Stir in salsa and cumin. Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes, then quick pressure release when you are ready to eat. If you want a thicker soup you can puree a bit of the soup with a hand blender and it will thicken right up. (Note: If you use regular dried beans, you need to cook them in water first, which is still fast in a pressure cooker but not THIS fast, see Julie’s post for instructions)
I served this with my favorite Buttermilk Corn Bread (start the cornbread first and once it’s done the soup will be DONE). By 6:10 my family was at the table eating. The soup was delicious, healthy, and all made of shelf stable ingredients. I added a little cheddar cheese on top and you could also garnish with sour cream or avocado if you wanted. You could definitely make this in an emergency where you lost all your fridge food. Gotta love that! And the fact that it saved dinner on a normal crazy day around my house is a bonus