Barack Obama Bean Soup

Day 4 word count: 7263

What’s up with me and the late nights? Perhaps if I stopped procrastinating my writing so much, I’d finish up at a more reasonable hour. Ah, well. I take heart in something I just read in Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. In an interview with Olympic runner Toshihiko Seko (I didn’t know who he was, either), Murakami asked if Seko ever just felt like he’d rather sleep in than go for a run. “He stared at me and then, in a voice that made it abundantly clear how stupid he thought the question was, replied, ‘Of course. All the time!'”

If an Olympic runner, who is someone you’d think would be well suited to running, often doesn’t feel like running, then it seems it would be perfectly natural for me, regardless of how well suited I am to writing, to often have trouble getting myself to actually write. This is, after all, the reason I made NaNoWriMo my goal for this month. Did I think it would suddenly be easy once I jumped into it? Perhaps I hoped it would, but that’s a little different. 1,667 words a day is doable, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it easy.

Change of subject:

Tonight, we had one of our favorite slow-cooker meals, Barack Obama Chili. Except in our house, we have to call it “Barack Obama Bean Soup.” If we call it “chili,” my daughter won’t eat it, but if we call it “bean soup,” she loves it. Go figure.

I got the recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking, which also includes dozens of other super-yummy slow-cooker meals.

Today, I used fresh tomatoes from our garden, which we’ve been ripening in a cardboard box under the dining room table since we pulled the plants out around the time of our first snow about two weeks ago. I doubled the garlic and the chili powder, used ground beef (which I browned before adding), and was liberal (tee-hee!) with the other spices. And I forgot to add the beans until mid-afternoon when I added a can of black beans in addition to the can of kidneys the recipe calls for.

Here’s a picture of just the tomatoes:


A variety of chopped fresh tomatoes in the slow cooker.

I love taking photos of our tomatoes all cut up together because I love the combination of colors. We grew Pink Brandywines, Dr Wyche’s yellow/orange, Big Rainbow red/orange, Green Zebra, Cream Sausage, Cherokee Purple, a red cherry tomato I forget the name of right now, and we had a volunteer Mexico Midget red cherry tomato that self-seeded from last year. In the chili are all of these except the cherries and the Cherokee Purples.

And here’s a photo of everything together (except the beans) just before I fired up the slow cooker:


Everything but the beans.

And voila! The finished “bean soup” after a little more than 7 hours on low:

No matter your political affiliation, this is a very yummy and different chili. The author of A Year of Slow Cooking also has a recipe for John McCain’s Ribs in the slow-cooker. The only reason I’ve not tried this one is because I can’t get passed the name. I don’t think I can eat something called “John McCain’s Ribs” without feeling like a cannibal.

We ate it with a spinach salad with red onions and sweet glazed walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette. If you guessed I got this from Feeding the Whole Family, you must be a regular reader of my blog. (And I don’t know why the link to the Sweet Glazed Nuts recipe isn’t working.)


Spinach salad with sweet glazed nuts and balsamic vinaigrette.


5 Replies to “Barack Obama Bean Soup”

  1. sounds good. think we’ll try it. love that it has to be “bean soup” not chili! too cute 🙂


  2. Yeah, John McCain’s Ribs would be like eating a dish called John Brown’s Body, or taking communion–just too creepy. Your photo made me salivate.


  3. Hi, CJ. I think I’ll try the recipes for this chili. Thanks for posting. I will tell you this, the picture of your chili looks very appetizing and A Year of Slow Cooking’s was, well, not.

    More power to your writing!


    1. Thanks for the compliment, bovanity! I’m pleased that it looked appetizing enough to make you want to try the recipe. It’s one of our cold-weather staples.


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