black bean soup. everyone has their own recipe, and anyone who doesn't certainly has easy access to any of the millions out there. i used to make this soup a lot, and tried out several different recipes until i found the one. unfortunately, the last few times i've made black bean soup, i've not been able to locate my magical recipe! it lives somewhere on epicurious.com, but i can't remember which of the dozens available is the one i loved. so, i gave up and made up yet another black bean soup recipe to toss on the pile with the rest.
this is a pretty basic soup-- thick and savory with not a lot of heat. thankfully, it also uses some of my preserved summer and fall ingredients-- i've noted the abundance in the freezer and the countdown to having some of those ingredients fresh again means i need to get on the ball.
another black bean soup, for your consideration
about 3-4 servings
4 slices bacon
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 of a red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 4-inch piece of a mild dried chili pepper, chopped (i used dried numex joe e. parker from the farmers market, because it's what i had on hand. i'd use a whole fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced, if i had it.)
1 Tbsp+ cumin4 cups fully cooked black beans, or 2 15 oz cans
1 cup chicken broth (more if you want a thinner soup)
2 cups, or 15 ounces, diced tomatoes
3 tsp kosher salt, and more to taste
juice of 1/2 lime (optional)
cracked black pepper
chop raw bacon (i use kitchen shears), and cook it over medium heat in heavy-bottom soup pot until well cooked but not crispy. remove from pot and reserve. pour off all but 2 Tbsp bacon drippings. (reserve the rest in case you need more oil when cooking the vegetables.)
over medium heat, cook onion and carrot until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. add garlic and red bell pepper and cook a few minutes more, stirring frequently. don't let anything burn or brown. add dried peppers and cumin and cook, stirring, 30 seconds to one minute.
add beans, broth, tomatoes, and salt, and bring to a boil. lower heat and simmer over medium/medium low, covered, for 15-20 minutes, or until the carrots are cooked through.
remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender until thickened and chunky. stir in lime juice, and reserved bacon. taste and season with salt and black pepper and cook a few minutes more to warm the bacon. serve with sour cream, chopped cilantro, chives, lime wedges, whatever sounds good. like maybe cornbread...
this is a great cornbread recipe. i found it from another blogger at userealbutter.com. it's just sweet enough for my taste (which is not very sweet), and it stays nice and moist. and it's so, so easy. my only change from her recipe was to add about a cup of corn kernels to the batter-- again, gotta use up all that stuff in the freezer!
from userealbutter's recipe, originally from "pie in the sky" by susan g. purdy
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg, room temp
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1-1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
heat oven to 425 degrees. butter and flour an 8x8 inch pan. in a large bowl, mix together butter, egg, milk, sour cream and sugar until well mixed. add cornmeal, flour, and corn and mix just until well blended. don't overmix. pour batter into prepared pan and bake 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. don't overcook!
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