Hey - it's been a minute since my last post, but things are still going well. I hope to post more in the coming days, weeks, months and years.
I have mentioned before that I have a kitchen garden that I try growing organic vegetables, I have had some luck with it. Okra is something that grows very well in the $#!%%y mid-Atlantic clay that I have in my Falls Church backyard. Okra also freezes very well, so I have a freezer section that is full of 2 cup (5 oz) portions of okra.
Full disclosure - I LOVE OKRA, and I grew up in the deep South of the US where it is cooked a lot. Some are put off by the 'slimy' quality that okra can have. Having grown up with it I don't mind it - I like how it thickens anything it's added to, but some find it off-putting. You can cut some of this by par-boiling okra for 3 minutes by itself before you add it to anything, but, to me, you may as well just go and make something else. AmIRight?
So, my spouse and I started this 5-2 diet in January, that started over in England. The gist is that you subsist for 2 days a weeks on 500 - 600 calories for the day. Our "fast" days are on Monday and Thursday, because that works well for us both. I am chief-cook in our marriage, so I thought it would be cool if we went essentially vegan two days a week. Baby-steps, right? The first week was the hardest, but it's gotten much easier every week.
Anyhoo...I have been looking for really hearty, but low calorie soup options. I used to love this soup that my Grandmother, we called her Dee-Mama, made back when I was a kid. It was hearty and comforting. Dee-Mama's was, most assuredly NOT vegan (I think it either had bacon or sausage in it). So, this is not a family recipe, but it's inspired by one. This may be too spicy for you with the Chipotle pepper (from Penzey's, by the way), but adjust accordingly.
I have made a version of this before with chicken and chicken stock, but this version is vegan and 'fasting-day' friendly. I think a serving (a heaping cup) would probably be around 150 calories. The two cups of pureed beans for the 'Bean Broth' add a creaminess to the soup that "almost" makes it seem like there is dairy in it. I believe that this was adapted from a Lynne Rossetto Kasper (the host of that awesome public radio show, The Splendid Table) recipe, hers had chicken in it, I am pretty sure.
ABOUT THESE BEANS: I prepared one pound of cannelli beans according to package directions, but they came out mushy. I am not sure what I did wrong. I boiled them for a minute, then allowed to soak for an hour, then cooked for about 40 minutes (the package said to cook for ONE HOUR(!)). One pound of dried cannelli beans yeilded between 5 and 6 cups of mushy beans. They taste fine, it's just the texture.