Monday, March 10, 2014

Black Bean Soup: Southwestern Style



I like to give new recipes a try even though I already have favorites.  I love my black bean soup.  I have been making it for years.  But I wanted to try one with a Southwestern flare.

I use to love to watch Daisy Martinez on PBS.  I love the Puerto Rican dishes she made but I also loved the great tips she gave as she worked on the meals.  One in particular I use all the time when making beans.  To gauge the liquid for the beans (after soaking), place broth or water in with the beans and then either stick your finger in or put in a wooden spoon.  Just touch the surface of the beans.  The liquid should come up to your first knuckle or about an inch on the wooden spoon.  This will give you the right amount of liquid.  Works every time. Thanks Daisy!

I liked the recipe but found it needed some acid to brighten things up a bit.  I added cider vinegar towards the end.  In hindsight, I think lime juice would have been better.  You could even add a little tomato paste or even salsa for a little flare.  I liked the soup, it was a nice change but honestly I like mine just a tad more.But for a South Western flare- this is the ticket.

Black Bean Soup
Printable here.

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup carrot chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1 bag black beans, soaked overnight
2 quarts + broth* (enough to cover the beans by one inch)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon liquid smoke or more if you like
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon cumin ( happen to love cumin)
1 tablespoon chili powder
pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Sauté onion, carrot and celery in oil until onion is translucent.  Add green peppers and sauté until everything is a bit golden.  Add in broth, soaked beans, spices, and liquid smoke.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat so that the soup is at a gentle simmer.  Let simmer for about an hour- beans should be very tender.  Puree. Serve with accoutriments such as cilantro, avocado, lime juice, salsa.

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