" For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. " Song of Solomon

December 30, 2008

Black Bean Soup

Looks like we might be moving in a couple of months so I decided I might as well use the food in the pantry rather than having to deal with moving it. I had 2 cans of black beans on the shelf and decided it was a good night for black bean soup.

The recipe I use is so easy and quick I thought you might like it too. The recipe calls for 3 cans of black beans, but I only had 2 and I think I liked it better that way.

Here's the ingredient list:

chili seasoning powder
cumin powder
1 can chicken broth
2 cans of black beans, undrained
salt and pepper to taste
optional: chopped ham, sour cream, salsa--for garnish

Heat a large pot, then add a little oil and saute about 1/4 cup diced onion--more or less--to your liking.

When you're satisfied with your onion--I like to brown mine a bit to bring out the sugar--add 2 teaspoons of chili seasoning powder and 1 teaspoon of powdered cumin. Stir.

Then add one can of the black beans undrained. Puree the second can and add it. Don't skip this step--pureeing the black beans gives the soup body--makes it thick. If you skip this it just ends up tasting like heated up canned black beans.

If you don't want to dirt up your blender or don't have a stick blender--which I recommend--I love mine--you maybe could pour off the juice and mash the beans with a fork on a plate.

Now let this cook on a low boil/simmer for a bit--20 minutes should do it. I did use the optional ham, but I threw it in at the beginning. I suggest waiting and adding the salt and pepper at the end --particularly if you add ham which tends to be salty. Your soup will concentrate and if you add the salt to taste before it cooks down, it will be too salty when it does cook down.

When I don't mind an extra step, I take a carrot and chop it in a very small crude dice and add it with the onions.

I served this with some fried cornbread. Yep. You read it right. Fried cornbread.

What's so neat about Fried Cornbread? You can make enough for one or two people, with no leftovers and you don't have to heat up your big oven. (I don't have a toaster oven). And it cooks in just minutes on top of the range. And it doesn't have any more fat than baking it because you keep out most of the fat and put it in the skillet to fry the cornbread, which gets very brown and crusty. And--the secret ingredient makes the cornbread taste sooooo good.

Next post I'll tell you what that ingredient is--btw it's not sugar though I add a tad to make my cornbread brown nicely, but not much more than a tad because I don't like sweet cakey cornbread. I would have never thought of using this secret ingredient--but I threw caution to the wind and thought 'what the heck?'. Now I'm hooked.

I'll also give you the general idea of how to make fried cornbread. Next post. 'Til then.
"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."


I am not a doctor and all information, suggestions, etc are my personal opinion only.