Galley: 1) the kitchen of a boat. Sally: 1) a venture off the beaten path, 2) a military action in which besieged troops burst forth from their position, 3) a witty remark.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spicy Black Bean Soup

When I have several dinners planned out in advance, I feel powerful. Kind of silly... but it feels a bit like being able to tell the future. I know what is coming, and I don't have to worry about it. Who ever worried about spicy black bean soup? or mushroom and black bean tortilla casserole? It's like knowing really good friends are coming for the weekend: You know you'll enjoy yourself, but without any stressful preparation.

So, yesterday I sat down with several cookbooks and flipped around. I was on the lookout for recipes that struck me as simple, healthy, and inexpensive. I made a shopping list of the ingredients, and now (after an incredibly mellow shopping trip with my four year old... she was actually really helpful...) I bring to you the deliciously simple spicy black bean soup! To be followed Friday with the casserole mentioned above! The future, revealed, no crystal ball required.

Spicy Black Bean Soup
from everyday food, Serves 4

You will need...

1 1b dried black beans, picked over, soaked overnight, and drained (see tip in step one for quick-soak method)
2 large yellow onions, diced small
2 jalapenos, minced (I used serrano chiles, and only one due to child)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1 3/4 cups veggie or chicken broth
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (read about my mistake here later in post)
Optional: diced avocado, diced onion, cilantro, plain yogurt and tortilla strips or corn chips for serving. (we used avocado, yogurt and corn chips)

What to do...

1) In a medium saucepan, cover beans with cold water by 2 inches. Add one-quarter each of onions and jalapenos and bring to a boil over high. Reduce to a rapid simmer; cook until beans are tender ~ 45 to 50 mins. (If you are going to make the aforementioned mushroom and black bean casserole, to be posted Friday, then use a slotted spoon to transfer 1 1/2 cups beans to container for refrigeration)

If you didn't soak overnight, don't despair: Instead of soaking dried beans overnight, cover them with cold water by 2 inches in a pot. Bring to a boil and cook 2 mins. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit 1 hour.

2) In large Dutch Oven or heavy bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add garlic and remaining onions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and golden brown ~ 10 mins. Stir in remaining jalapenos, cumin, beans and their cooking liquid and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook until beans are soft, ~ 20 mins. If necessary, add up to 1 cup water or broth to keep beans covered)

3) Transfer 2 cups soup to a blender and add cornstarch. Puree until smooth. Return to pot. Cook, stirring, until soup thickens, 1 -2 mins. Add lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Here is something funny. When I read the recipe (with many interruptions) I read "juice from two limes," instead of "2 Tbsp fresh lime juice." Yup. In my defense, the original recipe had, in parenthesis, "from 2 fresh limes." So, I bought two big limes and put ALL the juice in the soup. While I was squeezing away my husband (The Real Cook) commented on the quantity of the juice and I blithely replied, "It's the recipe!" And... It was very good. Very limey, but great! So... I don't know how just 2 Tbsp tastes, but if you like lime go ahead and add some more if you like! 

Proof of my error!

4) Top with avocado, diced onion, cilantro, yogurt and tortilla strips/chips if desired. (Can I say that I made the yogurt with fresh milk from the Coffelt Farm? Yum!)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be respectful and polite to everyone, so that I can keep the comment submissions open to all. Thanks!!