Disclosure: I was given an assortment of free Pereg® Natural Gourmet Food samples to review. I get no additional benefits for talking about this product or company. All opinions about this product are 100% my own.

Bone-chilling cold. Snow measured in feet, not inches. Polar vortexes and arctic blasts. Winter may be trying to beat us down with repeated, wickedly cold temperatures. But my secret weapon for warming up body and soul is a simple, hot bowl of soup. Except for the possibility of hot chocolate, nothing else satisfies and restores the way soup can.

And this weekend has been one of those times where a bowl of soup could surely work miracles and keep me hanging on to the hope that spring will….eventually…get here and melt away this misery.

I opened up my pantry and found two items from Pereg that I’ve been dying to try: a Basmati Rice with Vegetables and Texas Chili Heirloom Beans.

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I also grabbed some chicken broth and some chicken sausage links and headed to the stove. In a medium sauce pan, I heated up the entire container of broth (32 ounces) over high heat until it boiled. Then I added the Pereg Basmati Rice with Vegetables mixture and lowered the temperature to medium-high to let the ingredients simmer.

While it was cooking, I sliced the chicken sausage links and added them to the pot.  After about 15 minutes, I had this intoxicating Chicken Sausage & Basmati Rice Soup that was just about the best chicken soup I’ve ever made.  I had two bowls, with enough left over to freeze two single-serving containers so I had soup on hand for my next winter emergency.

chicken sausage rice soup closeup

I love making turkey chili in my slow cooker during the winter. The smell of the chili is comforting and part of my winter routine. But I’ve never made chili – or anything – with dried beans. So I carefully followed the directions on the Pereg Texas Chili Heirloom Beans package and soaked the beans over night.

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Just look at these beautiful beans!

texas chili dried beans

After rinsing them, I substituted them for canned beans from one of my favorite Slow Cooker Chili recipes.

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The results were delish! I did learn that when you cook dried beans in a slow cooker, you have to cook them for at least 6 to 8 hours. Anything short of that, the beans will still be a little crunchy.

Disclosure: I was given an assortment of free Pereg® Natural Gourmet Food samples to review. I get no additional benefits for talking about this product or company. All opinions about this product are 100% my own.