Warm From the Inside Bean and Vegetable Soup

Bean Soup (with barley added.)
Bean Soup (with barley added.)

All of the ingredients in the crock pot.
All of the ingredients in the crock pot.

In a Durango, Colorado restaurant this summer, one of my teen daughters and I ordered soup with our meal.  It was so delicious, we took note of the kinds of beans and veggies that were in it.  At home, we decided to try our own version.  We meshed a few different recipes to come up with this one.  The result turned out wonderfully.

In the mood for soup, hon?  This is a winner!


8 cups water

4 vegetable bouillon cubes (or chicken bouillon)

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 stalks celery, diced

approximately 1-2 teaspoons garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons olive oil for sauteing

1-15 ounce can pinto beans, drain and rinse all beans and chick peas

1-15 ounce can black beans

1-15 ounce can red kidney beans

1-12 ounce can corn

1-15 ounce can chick peas

1 teaspoon basil, dried or fresh

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

pepper to taste

optional:  barley, prepared as per directions on bag


Saute celery, onion and garlic before adding to soup pot. They can be sauteed together or separately depending on the size of your saute pan.  Heat about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in pan first, then saute, stirring frequently, over medium heat for 3 -4 minutes.  Add remaining olive oil as needed.

Crush the vegetable bouillon cubes, add to 8 cups of water and heat in microwave for a minute or so.  Stir bouillon in water so it starts to dissolve.

Pour water/bouillon mix into a crock pot of soup pot.  Add sauteed onion, celery and garlic.  Add pinto, black and kidney beans, corn and chick peas and the remaining ingredients.

Optional.  If adding barley, prepare per directions on bag, then add to soup.

Crock Pot Directions:

Set crock pot to low and let cook for about 4 to 5 hours.  It could be done sooner, but if you are going out, you can leave it on low for quite some time.

Soup Pot Directions:

Cover soup pot and, over medium heat, bring to a boil.  Then simmer for 45 minutes.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Chicken, Bean and Quinoa Salad

Chicken, Bean and Quinoa Salad

If you like chicken and lemon/lime flavors, you’ll like this protein packed, summery salad. According to Oxygen magazine, where one of my health conscious daughters found this recipe, there are 27 grams of protein in the salad.  I thought it was delicious and I hope you do, too.  Happy cooking!

Makes 2 servings

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 6 oz), pounded to 1/2″ thickness


Juice of 1 lemon (approx. 1/3 cup)  {comment:  use less lemon and lime juice in marinade if you like a milder lemon flavor}

Juice of 1 lime

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Zest of 1/4 lime

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground chili powder

Pinch of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes


4 cups romaine lettuce

1/2 cup roasted or canned corn kernels

1/4 cup black beans

1/2 avocado, diced

1/2 cup chopped heirloom tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper

1/2 cup cooked quinoa


Juice of 1 lemon (approx. 1/3 cup)

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 chopped fresh cilantro

Pinch of sea salt

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1.  In a bowl, mix together marinade ingredients.  Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag or container.  Pour mixture onto chicken.  Mix well by shaking bag or tossing in container with closed lid.  Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, divide all of the salad ingredients into 2 plates.

3.  Remove chicken from bag or container and grill in a pan on stove for 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Place cooked, sliced chicken on top of salads.

4.  In a bowl, combine dressing ingredients.  Pour over salad and serve.