I know there are a lot of evil Step-Mother stories out there.
This is not one of them.
When I was still in my teens, my beloved mother passed away. Needless to say, my family and I were devastated at our great loss. My father was left a widower after losing his beautiful bride.
A few years after my dad lost his dear wife, he met a wonderful woman, BJ ,who had also lost her husband. At the time they lived across the ocean from each other but began a courtship. It consisted of many letters, phone calls, and a once a week “date” watching the soap opera, Dallas, together over the phone… so cute!
I was initially cautious about this woman who seemed to be stealing my dad’s heart, but their love kept growing and they eventually married. Their wedding took place on a catamaran in Hawaii sailing over the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Even though my heart wanted to find fault with the new woman in his life, there really wasn’t any reason to dislike her. On the contrary. I was moved that my dad was happy and smiling for the first time in a while and she brought joy to the house with her kindness and love. So she quickly stole my heart as well! That was 27 years ago and they are more in love than ever.
While there could never be a replacement for one’s mother, I am so very grateful for the gift of BJ’s presence. She has brought so much blessing into my life and that of my family.
My father is a truly blessed man. It is rare to find the love of one’s life. Rarer still to find such love twice.
One of the many blessing she has brought into my life is her own collection of recipes. As much as I loved my own mother’s cooking, I have enjoyed so many of the creations that BJ Brings to the table.
This delicious recipe for Slow Cooker Soup is super easy and so wonderfully tasty. This meal has graced our table many times through the years along with the gracious presence of the lovely woman who I now get to call Family!
Beef and Black Bean Slow Cooker Soup
- 1 pound ground beef
- 29 ounces (about 3-1/2 cups) chicken broth
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 chopped yellow onion
- 3 medium carrots, sliced
- 2 celery ribs, sliced
- 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cans (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1-1/2 cups cooked brown rice
- Step 1 Brown ground beef until no longer pink, transfer to slow cooker
- Step 2 Add next 12 ingredients
- Step 3 Cook on low for 6-7 hours
- Step 4 Add beans and rice and cook 1 hour longer
- Step 5 Garnish with optional green onions or cilantro
~If you prefer to cook this on the stove, simmer for 2 hours on low and another 30 minutes on low after adding the black beans and rice.
~For the Instant Pot, set on Saute to brown the ground beef. Add the broth, veggies and use the “soup” setting or manually set for 40 minutes. Once done and pressure is released, add beans and rice and leave on “Keep Warm” until heated through. (another 10 minutes or so)
~If you are following the THM plan, this soup uses all plan-aproved ingredients and is a Crossover as written. To make it an E-Meal, use a low fat ground turkey in place of the beef or use a grass-fed ground beef and rinse under hot water after browning to reduce the total fat. You may also leave out the 1 Tablespoon of sugar or substitute an on-plan sweetener.