Thursday, January 12, 2012

Black Bean Soup

Per request of one of my friends, I wanted to pass on my black bean soup recipe. This is our favorite winter-warm-up soup :) It fills the belly and is very “clean” according to my husband – it is his official anti-junk food meal, often requested after we’ve been away from home and eating out. Like all good soups, the ingredient quantities are very approximate and turn out differently every time, but it makes a consistently good dinner! It's cheap, too, and you can't beat that!

Black Bean Soup
About 1lb dried black beans, soaked and cooked or 3 cans black beans
2 onions, finely chopped
Olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 can tomato/pepper blend (ie Ro-tel)
4c chicken broth, veggie broth, or bean broth from cooking the beans
4c water
2c corn
Black Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes

Cook beans if using dried. If using bean broth, reserve 4c. Set aside.
Sweat onions in a generous drizzle of olive oil until soft. Mince or slice garlic and add to onions; cook until they just begin to take on color. Add broth, water, tomato blend, and cooked beans; bring to simmer.
Spice to taste:

  • Be careful with the salt, especially if you use packaged broth or bullion cubes

  • A couple cracks of black pepper go a long way

  • Be generous with the cumin – this is where most of the flavor comes from

  • Feel free to leave out the red pepper flakes, they’re spicy!

  • Cayenne pepper adds a great flavor, but it doesn’t take much. This is an undertone in the flavor.

Give everything at least 20min on the simmer to help the flavors blend together. Add corn and warm just before serving.
When we make this at home, we add in a little bit of whatever leftover cooked meat is around – usually shredded chicken – but its awesome vegetarian as well. Also, try blending some or all of the soup; it is nice pureed too. Serve with corn bread or cornmeal dumplings:

Cornmeal Dumplings
½ c all purpose flour
½ c cornmeal
½ c shredded cheddar cheese
1tsp baking powder
1 egg
2tbsp oil
2tbsp milk

Stir dry ingredients well. Combine wet ingredients then add to the dry. Stir to combine. The dough will be somewhat dry. Drop by heaping tablespoon (I use a melon baller) into simmering soup. Cover pot and cook for 10-12min.

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