Simple soups are soups that you can make in no time. This Spicy Black Bean Soup is one of those recipes. In under an hour you can have a batch of delicious black bean soup ready to serve. The wonderful thick texture comes from pureeing some of the beans before adding them to the soup. I have a favorite Black Bean Soup recipe that takes all day to make, it’s delicious but sometimes you just don;t have all day to make soup! This simple soup is a perfect standby when you want to enjoy some black bean soup but don’t have all day!simple soups, spicy black bean soup

 

If you add a salad and a loaf of bread and you’ve got a quick supper to serve the family. If they don’t like the spiciness of this simple soup just cut back on the amount of crushed red pepper flakes you use.simple soups, spicy black bean soup

 

Simple Soups: Spicy Black Bean Soup

 

Ingredients:

 

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

3 (15.5oz) cans of black beans, un-drained

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 (14.5oz) can of vegetable broth

1 (14.5oz) can dice tomatoes with green chilies

1 (11oz) can of sweet corn, drained

 

Spray a large Dutch oven with nonstick spray and place over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Place the onion mixture, 1 can of the black beans, the cumin and red pepper in a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour back in the Dutch oven. Place one more can of beans in the blender and pulse until smooth, add it to the Dutch oven. Add the remaining can of beans, the broth, tomatoes and corn to the Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered until slightly thickened, 20-25 minutes.simple soups, spicy black bean soup Serve hot.simple soups, spicy black bean soup

simplehomesteadWelcome to the Simple Homestead blog hop!

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Introducing Stanley the LGDf22777_890bb527447641efb10bdee98b79045dmv2

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Homemade Dog Biscuits – a recipedogbiscuit4a

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Repotting a Peace Lily

 

Early winter is a good time for repotting your houseplants. Over the summer I tend to neglect my houseplants. Some of them are moved outside for the summer while others just enjoy the sunny windows. I keep them fed and watered but that’s about it. When the gardening season is over I catch a breath and really take a look at my various houseplants. Usually one or more will need some attention. My bay plant is doing wonderfully. Since they prefer a smaller pot I will not be transplanting it.transplanting a peace lily

 

My Peace lily is another story. Many people have a peace lily (spathuphyllum tango) in their home; it is very easy to care for and produces wonderful flowers. They thrive in indirect bright light. They like heavy watering but also like to dry out in between watering. Do keep pets and children away from this plant, as it is one of the many poisonous houseplants. Although they prefer a more compact root ball every other year or so I divide the plant, which seems to keep it pretty happy. When the active growth slows down or the leaves become smaller it is time to repot.transplanting a peace Lily

 

My plant is flowering less and less and it is extremely crowded so I know it’s time to re-pot.spathuphyllum tango, houseplants, repotting

First Steps in Repotting:

 

Repotting is rather easy. You can divide the plant into a number of new plants; perhaps you have a friend you would like to share with?

First fill a slightly larger pot that has drainage holes halfway with potting soil. Choose a pot only slightly larger because the plants grow well in crowded conditions. Make a small space in the middle of the soil for the divided peace lily plant.houseplants, repotting, potting soil

Loosen the dirt around the roots of the peace lily. Use a gardening spade to loosen the soil, and then carefully lift the plant out of the container. You can also tilt the container on its side and squeeze on it to loosen the soil from the container. I gently pull the plant out of the pot over some newspaper, usually in the garage. You can see that the plant is rather root bound.houseplants, root bound, repotting

Today it was too cold for such a project in the garage so I made a huge mess over a sheet on my kitchen floor. When you start pulling the plant apart you will realize it is made up of many plants.repotting houseplants, plants

 

You could actually put each plant in it’s own pot! After separating the plant I set aside the ones that will get re-potted. Rinse the dirt off the roots and run the roots of the plant under cool water.washing roots, repotting

 

Place the peace lily in the new container. Fill it with potting soil, and pack it down around the roots. Water the peace lily to keep the soil moist. I usually give the leaves a wipe with a damp cloth as well.repotted peace lily

 

I now have two plants and a pile of discarded plants for my compost pile!
repotted peace lily, houseplants
Don’t expect your plant to immediately look better. Give it several weeks and you should start to see signs of new growth. Transplanting is rather dramatic on a plant so give it some time to start looking good again. Believe me it won’t be long before you’ll be repotting it again.

Recently I was offered the chance to preview a book before it actually became available! The book is called The Suburban Micro Farmer. For those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that I am currently living in Vermont on ten acres. However our desire is to sell our home and relocate to the Pacific Northwest, on a smaller piece of property. This book interested me because it talked about having a successful garden in the suburbs! The suggestions in The Suburban Micro-Farm prove that you can garden with the limited space and time you have.suburban micro farmer

 

After reading this book and the various suggestions I am so excited to eventually be a suburban micro farmer! I’ve always been interested in growing our own food and this book is full of helpful hints how to do this in the suburbs! I am a strong believer in knowing where your food comes from and I try to grow what I can to feed my husband and myself. Just because we plan to move to a more populated area I do not plan to discontinue gardening or to stop preserving my harvest!

 

The author shares her simple tricks for gardening in challenging conditions and choosing crops to meet your needs. Amy Stross, author of The Suburban Micro-Farm, shares her expertise and adventure in permaculture gardening at TenthAcreFarm.com.suburban micro farmer

 

Getting a garden started and growing healthy food for your table is an amazing goal, but it can seem impossible in the midst of modern life. Amy shares her best tips, tools, and life hacks to help us reap abundant harvests with the time we have. Even better, she shows us how to achieve it without having the perfect yard. She believes gardening should be productive AND fun.suburban micro farmer

 

I look forward to eventually creating a new garden that will blend crops into a traditional landscape as well as the surrounding scenery to create an edible yard that is as beautiful as it is productive. This book is available for pre-order on Amazon. It will be available December 14th as a paperback or as a Kindle version.suburban micro farmer

Can you believe it is December already? Where has the year gone? What better way to start off the month of December than with a giveaway!

I’m joining my friend Katherine from Katherines Corner for her annual Season of Giveaways, this is the Comfort and Joy Giveaway.

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One winner will receive a Comfort and Joy cd (Jim Brickman) Comfort and Joy Cookbook and

Cash prize is provided by Katherine’s co hostesses and is not affiliated with Amazon.

Please remember to follow your sponsors and all of the hostess so you can get all of your entries!

comfort-and-joy-giveaway-hostesses

Katherine- Katherines Corner
Nancy- Nancy on the Home Front
Marilyn- Marilyns Treats
Olivia- Reinvented Collection

To enter please log into the entry form using your email address or facebook log in

Disclaimer-Katherines Corner may receive compensation for reviews and advertising provided. However, no compensation will influence the outcome of any review. Katherines Corner provides reviews to readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase. Katherines Corner and its affiliate Bobskatie Enterprises reserves the right to not publish a review of a product or products that do not meet the specified instructions provided to product submission companies or individuals. Reviews are posted in the appropriate section at Katherines Corner and also at Amazon.com ( subject to products availability) This in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

To enter please log into the entry form using your email address or facebook log in

The Giveaway STARTS today Dec 2 ends Dec 15

a Rafflecopter giveaway

When you think of Christmas pie you may think of pumpkin or pecan pie, but I think of Cranberry Apple Pie. Many years ago my (ex) brother-in-law introduced me to this fabulous variation of an apple pie and I will forever be grateful! Whenever we spend Christmas with family I am asked to make this pie. After all these years when I think of Christmas pies I think of Cranberry Apple Pie.Cranberry Apple Pie

 

I always use the pie pastry recipe from King Arthur – you can’t beat it. Perhaps it’s the fact that they only use butter, but the crust is always flaky and delicious. If you have your own pie crust recipe that’s fine, but I strongly suggest checking out the pie pastry recipe on the King Arthur site.

 

Christmas Pies: Cranberry Apple Pie

 

Ingredients:

 

Use a basic pie crust recipe for a double crust 9” pie.

1 cup sugar

2 Tbsp flour

¼ tsp salt

2 cups cranberries

½ cup raisins (optional)

4 tart apples (Pippin or Granny Smith work best), peeled, cored and thinly sliced

Freshly grated zest of one orange

2 Tbsp unsalted butterIngredients for Cranberry Apple Pie

 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Roll out your pasty for the bottom crust and line a 9” pie pan. Roll out top crust an set aside.

In a large bowl stir together the sugar, flour, and salt. Add the cranberries, raisins, apples and orange zest. Toss to mix well. Pile the fruit mixture into the pastry lined pan and dot with bits of butter.Cranberry Apple Pie

 

Cover with the top crust, trim and flute the edges. Cut a few vents in the top.Cranberry Apple Pie

 

Bake 20 minutes at 425 degrees and then reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Continue to bake until the crust is browned and the fruits are tender – about 40-50 minutes.Christmas Pies, Cranberry Apple Pie

 

Perfect to enjoy at the end of your holiday meal! Christmas Pies, Cranberry Apple Pie

 

Always good to the last bite!Cranberry Apple Pie

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