Black Bean Soup With Roasted Squash

Day 63: “New World Kitchen

March 4, 2011

While winter continues to hold its icy claw grip on us and I just can’t break away from comfort foods.  At least I am trying to make healthy comfort foods.  When I found this recipe it had all the makings of a low-fat comfort food……except for the bacon.  Soup is a meal that I think I could every day.  I have a favorite spot that I like to go for lunch that makes some of the best homemade soups in my town.  When I made this soup, my oldest son said that we should make sure we give this recipe to them so that they can make it.

What “The New World Kitchen” offers a culinary tour through many Caribbean and Latin American countries.  A visit to Chile and you will find sea bass with creamy ragu of tomatoes, basil, potatoes and onions.  Stop off in Peru for potatoes in Creamy Cheese Sauce (papas a la huancaina).  The soup I made was from the Pan-Caribbean region.  The author is a famed chef from Florida named Norman Van Aken who owns the restaurant Normans in Miami. The cookbook features photos from an award-winning food photographer which is only fitting of the inspiring dishes.  Feeling a bit like traveling around to some warmer weather cooking, make a stop with this cookbook.

The Ruling:  The soup was great…..but I must admit I had to substitute a lot of things in order to avoid another trip to the store. For example I didn’t have a calabaza squash so I used an acorn squash I had. If I was to make this again, I would use a butternut squash as it is much easier to peel then the crevices of the acorn squash.  We inhaled the soup so fast that I didn’t even get to take a picture of it.  Of course the oldest child, husband and myself ate it.  Middle child was out with friends but I would bet that he would have tried it.  The crema on top was a nice fresh addition. Youngest child just turned his nose up at it after having a spoon full of it.

Black Bean Soup With Roasted Squash, page 62

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces smoky bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted and ground cummin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves, broken in half
  • 1 cup Spanish dry sherry
  • 2 cups black beans, rinsed, soaked overnight in water to cover, and drained
  • 1 some ham hock
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Calabaza:

  • 2 pounds calabaza, peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-sized pieces (you can substitute acorn or another winter squash)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Crema:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted and ground coriander seeds

Directions:

  1. To prepare the beans, cook the bacon in the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat until beginning to crisp. Stir in the Scotch bonnet and garlic. Turn up the heat to medium-high, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery, and stir to coat. Let the vegetables caramelize, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the cumin, bay leaves, and sherry, bring to a simmer, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the beans, ham hock, and stock and bring to a simmer. SKim the impurities off the top, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the beans are tender but not mushy, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  3. In the meantime, prepare the calabaza: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the calabaza, butter, sugar, salt, and pepper in a toasting pan or heavy ovenproof skillet and give them a toss. Rost for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash is tender when poked with a knife. Set aside in a warm place.
  4. For the crema: Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl. Chill until ready to serve.
  5. Remove the bay leaves from the beans. Scoop 2 1/2 cups of the beans and their broth into a blender, and puree. Pour back into the pot – this will give the soup more body – stir well, and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  6. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Fold in the calabaza and cook for 5 more minutes
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls and finish with a spoonful of crema in each.

 

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

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1 Comment

Filed under Main Dishes, Soup

One response to “Black Bean Soup With Roasted Squash

  1. Pingback: Week in Review: March 5, 2011 | 365clevercookbooks

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