All this cold weather must have me in the mood for Mexican type food and the warmth it evokes because today's dish is just as south of the border in its flavors as those fajitas I posted on Monday. Hey, if you can't take a vacation to the tropics, at least cook with those ingredients! I am also apparently on an Everyday Food magazine kick, too, because that's where this recipe was found, along with something like 20 other recipes I have bookmarked in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue.
So back to the soup- I loved this! The pureed beans give it a nice, thick heartiness and the onions are a delicious addition, as well. The squeeze of lime juice brightens up the flavor and when garnished with avocado and tortilla chips, well, it's all I need. It's also a really inexpensive dinner, which always suits me.
The recipe makes about two quarts of soup, which will feed four to six people at one time. I find this soup hearty enough to be its own main dish, but you could definitely pair it with some bread, cornbread, a quesadilla, or a baked potato.
I couldn't find a link to this recipe off the Martha Stewart website, but will post the recipe as it appears in the magazine and put their alternate suggestions, along with my own in my notes section.
Spicy Black Bean Soup
from Everyday Food, January/February 2011
1 lb. black beans, soaked approx 8 hours
2 large yellow onions, diced
2 jalapeños, minced
1 Tb. olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced, pressed, or grated
2 tsp. cumin
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
1 Tb. corn starch
2 Tb. lime juice, from 2 limes
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Chopped avocado, salsa, sour cream, tortilla chips, etc, for topping
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, 45-50 minutes.
2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and remaining onions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and golden brown;, about 10 minutes. Stir in remaining jalapenos, cumin, beans and their cooking liquid, and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook until beans are soft, about 20 minutes (if necessary, add up to 1 cup water to keep beans covered while simmering).
3. Transfer 2 cups soup to a blender and add cornstarch. Puree until smooth. Return to pot. Cook, stirring, until soup thickens, 1-2 minutes. Add lime juice and season with salt/pepper to taste.
- The original recipe suggests that if you do not have time for the beans to soak, you can use the rapid soak method, which involves bringing the beans, along with 2 qt. water, to boil in a pot. Boil for two minutes and then turn off the heat and let them soak in that liquid for one hour. Or, you can use 3-15.5 oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed, along with 3 cups water. If you use canned beans, start with step 2.
- My note- if you soak your own beans, don't throw out that liquid. Just use it and add more to cover the beans with 2 inches of water. I also added maybe 1/4-1/2 tsp. salt in step 1.
- I used chicken broth instead of vegetable because I had an open box in my fridge I needed to use. The flavor was great. You only really need to be picky if you have dietary restrictions.
- I did use two jalapeños, and the soup wasn't very spicy to me, and I'm pretty sensitive to spice. Being the dead of winter, it could have been that no pepper is at its tasteful peak, but use these at your discretion.
- If you forget to put the corn starch in with the reserved portion to blend like I did, DO NOT add it to the whole soup mixture. It will clump up and not be good eats. Just leave it out if you forget. The soup will just be slightly thinner.