Saturday, January 2, 2010
black bean soup and a lesson learned
I am unlucky with three things in life: electronics (always broken within a month), soups, and my health. These are listed in descending order of importance. Maybe I would have better health if I had more luck with soups.
I suspect that soups are not meant to be made from recipes. That they should be reserved for that special, seemingly innate, intuition of "moms" (emphasis on quotes). In the end, my black bean soup was an unequivocal failure. What I did end up with was a good lesson and a large pot of puffy, garlic-rich black beans. I look forward to making them into other things.
Below is the recipe reproduced in full, my annotations in italics. To make a good soup, try following the italicized version. To get hearty and delicious black beans, follow the regular version -- but leave out the eggs/tortilla and change the simmering time to 1.5 hours.
This is the choose your own adventure of recipes. Tell me how your adventure ends.
Grandpa's Favorite Black Bean Soup
You Will Need:
8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped (2 medium bell peppers, 1 large carrot, 1 green zucchini -- double the amount of vegetables)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
6 cups of chicken broth (vegetable is a fine substitute)
2 15 oz cans of black beans (1 bag of dry beans will suffice -- boil them for 2 minutes in water and let soak for an hour. They will cook the rest of the way down while the soup simmers)
fresh thyme, to taste
fresh oregano, to taste
1. In big soup pot, grill garlic, onion and bell pepper in oil and stir. Grill until vegetables soften, onion becomes translucent. Done best over medium high heat.
2. Add chicken broth, black beans, fresh thyme and oregano to pot. Stir ingredients.
3. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover pot and simmer soup for at least half an hour. This will allow the herbs to fully flavor the soup.
4. Crack eggs on edge of pot and drop into soup in different areas of pot. Do not stir! The eggs will cook in place in 2-3 minutes.
5. Remove soup from heat.
6. To best enjoy the soup, place a hard boiled egg in each bowl and fill with black bean soup.
7. Tear corn tortillas in strips and sprinkle over bowl. Add a dollop of sour cream and a generous pinch of freshly chopped cilantro.
This recipe came care of the first print issue of Remedy Quarterly, which I received in the mail (appropriately enough) on my birthday. It is a beautifully curated collection of recipes and stories about food; I highly, highly recommend grabbing a copy while you still can. The ginger cookie recipe alone is worth it.