Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Family Q's Day

Yesterday we celebrated Family Day in Saskatchewan.  I had fun in the kitchen creating a Mexican inspired soup from Dietitians of Canada's cookbook Cook!  I hope other families gathered together to prepare and enjoy healthy meals too.  We had soup for lunch and then went to my parents house for a lovely dinner. 

Taking time to sit down and eat together doesn't always happen in our fast paced lifestyle.  I have many clients that are now making healthy eating a priority and as such they cook ahead on the weekend so that healthy meals are ready and waiting in their fridge or freezer.  The soup recipe below makes 8 servings, so that will potentially feed you for a couple of meals (depending on how many mouths you're feeding). 

So for today's question, I want to know:

What is your favourite big batch meal to feed a crowd?

Pinto bean tortilla soup

Makes 8 servings
This hearty, warming soup is a delicious way to get some great soluble fiber from beans. It’s perfect for a cold Canadian winter weeknight supper. Make the soup on the weekend and reheat it to serve during the week.
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Food processor or blender
1 1⁄2 cups dried pinto beans 375 mL
1 large onion, cut into 6 wedges 1
5 plum (Roma) tomatoes, quartered 5
4 tsp canola oil, divided 20 mL
4 5-inch (12.5 cm) corn tortillas, divided 4
2 cloves garlic, minced 2
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced 1
2 tsp ground cumin 10 mL
1 tsp ground coriander 5 mL
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 1 L
1 bay leaf 1
2 tbsp tomato paste 30 mL
1 cup frozen corn kernels 250 mL
Pinch salt Pinch
1⁄2 avocado, chopped 1/2
1⁄2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 1⁄2 cup
  1. Place beans in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover by at least 3 inches (7.5 cm). Cover and let soak overnight. Drain soaked beans and rinse well under cold water. Discard any shriveled beans or those that did not swell.
  2. Place beans in a large pot and add enough fresh cold water to cover by 3 inches (7.5 cm). Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until beans are tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Place onion and tomatoes on baking sheet and brush with 1 tsp (5 mL) of the oil. Broil, turning every 5 minutes, for about 15 minutes or until charred. Transfer to food processor and process until smooth. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).
  4. Cut tortillas into 2- by 1⁄4-inch (5 by 0.5 cm) strips.
  5. In a clean large pot, heat 2 tsp (10 mL) oil over medium heat. Add half the tortilla strips, garlic and jalapeño; sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in cumin and coriander. Add broth and deglaze the pot, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil. Stir in puréed onion mixture and tomato paste; return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Stir in corn and cooked pinto beans; simmer for 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Discard bay leaf.
  6. Meanwhile, gently toss the remaining tortilla strips with the remaining oil and the salt. Spread on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until crisp.
  7. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with baked tortilla strips, avocado and cheese.


The tomatoes and onions can be broiled up to 1 day in advance. Let cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Steph (Wheler) Langdon, RD

something nutrishus counselling & coaching