Friday, January 27, 2012

Red Pepper Black Bean Meatball Soup & a visit to Sun Peaks Resort

Well... I thought I'd squeeze in one more post prior to the weekend...  what the heck right?!  Besides, I actually REALLY enjoyed this soup... even had it for lunch TWICE!  (which if you know me, I usually "forget" leftovers in the fridge)..... aannnyyywaayyys.   It went something like this... it was a cold rainy Monday, just coming back from a weekend of "Champagne Powder" up at Sun Peaks Resort, BC.  I wanted a quick - yet hearty - soup to serve up for dinner...SO, I came up with this Red Pepper Black Bean Meatball Soup. (whew, say that 10x fast!) The quick part happens because I do use some pre-made "mixes" to speed up the process...  and feel free to switch around flavours / etc, to suit your families taste buds.  This is what worked for us.  I'm also throwing in a few pictures of our Sun Peaks trip... as it even though the "sun" really didn't "peak" (haha) out too much, it was still gorgeous!

Red Pepper Black Bean Meatball Soup
Red Pepper Black Bean Meatball Soup

  • 1 package (Campbell's) Red Pepper Black Bean Soup Broth
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow potatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 lb ground extra lean ground beef (seasoned with seasoning salt, garlic,pepper)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 container (Philly dips) Low fat Smokin' Chipotle dip
Combine Red Pepper Black Bean Soup mix with chicken broth in a pot, over medium-high heat, add potatoes, carrots.  Bring to a boil, and let simmer until potatoes/carrots are fork tender.

While potatoes and carrots are cooking, make mini-meatballs using the seasoned ground beef.  Balls should be about 1/2 inch round.  When Potatoes/Carrots are fork tender, and broth is simmering, add meatballs and stir gently, until meatballs is no longer pink in middle.

Add red pepper, onions, mushrooms and pasta.  Stir frequently to ensure pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pot. 

When Pasta is done to desired texture, using a measuring cup and a soup ladle, remove 1 cup of broth mixture from pot.  Carefully mix in Smokin' Chipotle dip to the broth mixture in the measuring cup.  Stir until well mixed.  (the hot broth helps melt/blend in the dip).  Pour mixture back into the soup pot and stir soup until well blended.

Let simmer for an additional 5 mins.... and then... Bon Appetite!  (I added a little bit of Parmesan Cheese 'just cause' right before eating... but it's not necessary)

Coquihalla on the way up to Sun Peaks...
To get to Sun Peaks, you've got to go through a couple mountain passes, which, during the winter season, always makes for an "interesting" drive...  beautiful though!  Thank goodness the trip was pretty uneventful... I do know of times where you are "stuck" on the side of the road for several hours while crews do "avalanche control" .... not fun to wait!

Even without the "sun peak"-ing through, it's still a sight to see!  Now... if only I knew how to get down from the mountain! haha - I can handle a snowmobile... but my snow board and I... it's a love/hate relationship.  

What gets me through the aching knees, sore wrists, and general face plants in the so-called Champagne Powder up there?! .... The apres-ski soak in the hot tub!!  It's the simple things that I love! One of the evenings up there, we were treated to a beautiful sunset.  
 That's the view from "my seat" in the hot tub... which was breathtaking...  BUT you were treated if you took a moment - braved the minus degree outside air temps- and stood up....
What a way to end a day on the mountain...and start the evening!  While we were at Sun Peaks, their Winter Wine Festival was on.  It's not as "big" and "grand" as Whistler's Cornucopia, however, it did have it's advantages.  It was laid back, more casual - and while tasting some of BC's BEST wines... you were able to stroll through the village in the evening during the Progressive Tasting Event.  Fun in our group of 16, but would be great with a small group as well.  My suggestion; take a moment to try and "chat" with the different people representing the different wineries.  Not only will you gain the opportunity to try more wines, you will also understand better what you are tasting - and they have some great hints / pairings / tips on how to drink their wine so you enjoy it to its fullest potential.

One last little "look" into the weekend spent up there...  we took a quick 2 hour trek out on snowshoes...  now that's more my speed.  But don't kid yourself.. if you do an intermediate or advanced trail.. it's a heck of a workout!  A totally different "look" at the mountain... hiking through the snow covered trails is breathtaking (especially if you're climbing uphill) haha.  Did you know you still "sink" into the snow...even with the snowshoe on?? 

Well folks - be safe whatever you do this weekend!  Since it's been dumping down snow on those mountain passes... I believe the sleds are calling!


  1. I'm such a lucky dude...the talents of my girl...

  2. Great recipe. Would you be happy to link in to my Meatball edition of Food on Friday? This is the link . Hope you are having a good week.