First, MANY THANKS to fellow bloggers and friends who have called and/or emailed to ask if we were OK during the megastorm called Sandy. We appreciated your concern and are OK, as are family members along the east coast; some in NJ lost power, which hopefully will be restored soon. We pray that you and yours fared well during the storm’s worst. Today’s forecast on the VA eastern shore is intermittent showers and light winds, thankfully.
IF you were reading Grenville’s weather update posts yesterday, you know that our area, like most of the eastern U.S. was pummeled with relentless downpours and gusting winds. It was perfect soup weather, if you didn’t lose power OR have a gas stove (as we do).
Black bean soup was on the menu with nasty weather outside The Frog & PenguINN. I’ve ordered it when dining out, but never made it. Best of all, it uses many of our favorite spices, ones starting with the letter “C” like cumin, coriander, cilantro, cayenne. And, while not a spice, chicken broth also coincidentally it also begins with “C.”
Black Bean Soup
- 1 C dried black beans
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1-2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1-2 carrots, chopped
- 7 C broth (low sodium chicken or beef or combo)
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cilantro
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Salt to taste
- Scallions, chopped (optional)
- Plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)
Sort through beans to discard any that don’t look good; then soak overnight in enough cold water to cover. Failing to do that, I followed a fast method on the bean package: sort, wash, add 3-4 cups of hot water, boil 2-3 minutes, then set aside for 1 hour before using.
- In a large, wide pot, sauté carrots, celery, and onions until softened (about 10 minutes).
- Add drained black beans, broth, spices and a bay leaf to pot.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered until beans are tender (about 1-1/2 to 2 hours), stirring occasionally.
- Discard bay leaf; use a food processor (or blender) to puree the soup, adding more broth as needed. Return to pot and reheat to serving temperature, adding salt to taste.
Chop scallions and use as a garnish for individual servings. Top with plain yogurt or sour cream, if preferred.
Notes: Tried using the immersion blender, which had trouble pureeing the beans, so switched to food processor.
To spice up the flavor, I added a dash of cayenne pepper (not too much) and 1TBSP of chipotle seasoning.
Yield was two containers. One was frozen for another meal; the other is on tonight’s dinner menu to be enjoyed with a salad and Grenville’s homemade bread.