sweet potato and three bean soup

Guess what?

It’s cold out there!

I guess winter has finally arrived in New England.  We drove to the beach on Saturday afternoon and there was actually snow covering the sand.  I have never seen such a thing!

Henry even got in the water.  Crazy dog!

You could not have paid me to get in the ocean.  We saw surfers out in wet suits,  but I still can’t imagine being in water that cold!

Not only was it cold over the weekend, but this morning I laced up my running shoes and did a chilly 10 mile run through Concord.  It has been  a long time since I have run in cold weather.  It’s going to take some getting used to!

Not only was my run chilly, but pruning apple trees this afternoon was not much warmer.

To be honest, pruning apple trees is one of my least favorite chores on the farm.  The loppers are heavy, the trees can be a total mess, and the ladders can be slippery.  The funny thing is, I miss getting my hands dirty!  I love digging, planting, harvesting, anything that involves dirt.  The apple trees, not so much.  I am always afraid of breaking my neck up there!

But the good news is that so far I have a clean track record and I am hoping it will stay that way all winter.  We still have about 900 more trees to prune so I am crossing my fingers we get through them in one piece!

And as a reward for our cold hard work, I made us dinner.

Sweet potato and three bean soup!


This soup is the result of everything we had in our pantry.  I will do my best to give an accurate recipe.  I just added as I went.

1 chopped sweet onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 can pinto beans, rinsed

1 can kidney beans, rinsed

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 cans diced tomatoes in their juices

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 tbs tomato paste

2 tbs chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp dried basil

salt and pepper to taste

3 cups fresh spinach


Sautee your onion and garlic in some olive oil.  Add your sweet potatoes.  Cook about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.  Add your spices.  Stir.  Add beans, tomatoes, chicken broth and paste.  Bring to a boil.  Turn heat down and simmer for about an hour.  Taste test to see if you need to add anything.  Add spinach.  Serve warm over cooked brown rice.  Add sour cream and parsley to garnish!


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4 Responses to sweet potato and three bean soup

  1. Beth says:

    Thanks for sharing a bit about what’s involved in your tree-pruning chores.
    900 trees left to go?
    How many trees in the orchard in total?
    Hope you maintain your injury-free record.
    Now here’s a non-farmer’s question: Why do apple trees need pruning?

  2. Leese says:

    Beautiful photos!

  3. Pat Reichert says:

    Hi Andrea. Just wanted to wish you a wonderful Christmas and peaceful New Year…….and thank you so much for your blog. It is the one thing I read every day along with my e-newspaper. I love your little snippets of life on the farm and life in general for you, Taylor and Henry. You are a gifted writer and your blog is entertaining as well as informative. Your recipes are terrific and your pictures are mouth-watering. Stay warm this winter and keep us informed on your pursuit of the Boston….so inspiring. Love to you, Taylor and Henry……your Montana Aunt Patty

  4. Ellen Schramm says:

    Hey I’m checking out your blog!!! Awesome snowy beach, where is that? Recipe looks awesome!!! Henry is adorable and looks back to his good ol’ self.


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