Day 103: “Get Cooking”
April 13, 2011
Black Bean Soup is so healthy for you, especially if you don’t put in the sour cream or the tortilla chips. I love soup of all kinds and I have made many different kinds but I do not think that I have ever made black bean soup that was this easy. Since returning from San Diego, I have been hungry for everything Mexican, this soup is no exception. Knowing how to make soup from scratch is a great thing to be able to do. You get to control the ingredients and most importantly, the sodium levels!
The author of “Get Cooking” is Mollie Katzen, who also authored “Moosewood Cookbook”. She lovingly tries to get you in the kitchen with recipes that you did not have to attend culinary school to complete. In case you are really a beginner, she shows you the basics of chopping. I see this cookbook as one that is given to children as they leave the home and are starting in the world of being a home cook….start them off on the right foot.
The Ruling: Well I liked it, but everyone else thought it was kind of bland. One of the tips is to finely chop a fresh jalapeno chile…that would show the family who is boss of the spicy soup. I will say that everyone ate it….well the youngest one just took a spoonful of it. Very easy to make and if you are a vegetarian or have a vegetarian in your family, this will be a hit for dinner.
Cuban Black Bean Soup, page 14
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red or yellow onion, minced
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- half a medium red bell pepper, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced or crushed garlic (about 3 good-sized cloves)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Three 15-ounce cans black beans (approximately 4 cups cooked beans)
- 3 cups water
- 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- a big handful of cilantro leaves
- freshly ground black pepper
- red pepper flakes
- lime wedges, for garnish
- Place a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. After about a minute, add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onion and cumin, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion softens.
- Add the bell pepper, garlic, and salt, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft.
- Meanwhile, set a colander in the sink and pour in the means; give them a quick rinse and allow them to drain.
- Add the beans and the water to the soup pot, and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat all the way down to the lowest possible setting, partially cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
- Use a potato masher or the back of a slotted spoon to mash about half of the soup so it thickens. The soup will become somewhat chunky, not completely smooth. (You can also puree it, if you like, with a blender or immersion blender.) If at any point it seems to have gotten too thick, it’s okay to add a little extra water (about 1/4 cup at a time) until it’s a consistency you like.
- Add a tablespoon of the lime juice, and then taste to see if you think it needs to second tablespoon. Use scissors to ship in the cilantro (it’s okay if the pieces are a bit rough). Add about 8 grinds of black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes, and then simmer and stir for another minute or two to let the flavors blend. Serve hot, with the lime wedges alongside.
To Joyful, Simplified Living,
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.
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