Have I mentioned that I LOVE soup? What could be better on these increasingly chilly days than a big bowl of warm and delicious? While I’ve shared quite a few soups with you (you’ll see they have their own category on the sidebar), I’ve admittedly been in a bit of a soup rut. My Go To soups are really delicious, but after a while, the kids “THAT one again?” resonates a little too deeply. I’ve gotten a little tired of my faves, and so went a wandering, with too little time for prep and a well stocked pantry. Problem solved.
Apparently it is possible to make black bean soup that is not Southwestern. It had never occurred to me, despite my bean friendliness, to use those guys for a different flavor profile – talk about being in a rut! Once again my friend Deborah Madison (perhaps I should just call these posts Little Sis and Deborah), showed me the way out of my self-inflicted black bean tunnel vision.
Ms. Madison suggests a simple American styled black bean soup, and with a few adjustments it worked stupendously for Mr. Little Sis and I. After the whole crew tasted it, with lackluster response, Mr. Little Sis and I decided that since the kids had passed on it anyway, we would in fact add the bit of Madeira called for in the original version, and boy howdy was it great, even with my radically shortened cooking time. This one would go gangbusters in a slow cooker. I finished the last bowl tonight and am happy to report that, as with so many soups, it’s even better after a few days.
American Black Bean Soup – adapted for speed and dairy considerations from Deborah Madison’s Black Bean Soup in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
- olive oil for the pot
- 2 c onion, chopped
- 1 c celery, chopped
- 1 c carrot, chopped small
- 2 c green pepper chopped small
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 t chopped rosemary
- 2 t dried thyme
- 2 T tomato paste
- 4 c black beans, soaked, cooked and drained or drained and rinsed from cans
- 4 quarts water
- leftover grains if desired (I used 1.5 c cooked brown rice)
- salt to taste
- 1 c Madeira
- 1 c coconut milk (or cream)
- chopped parsley
Warm oil in the pot. Add onions and saute for a few minutes. Add the rest of the veggies and herbs and cook until the color deepens a bit. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for an additional minute. Add the beans and the water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, partially covered for at least 20 minutes. Add salt to taste and grains if using. Cook and additional 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves and puree as much of the soup as your textural preferences dictate. A smoother puree can be achieved in a blender, but I don’t like to do all that pouring of hot soup, so I use an immersion blender. Add Madeira and coconut milk (or cream if you do moo). Serve with chopped parsley. Wow. So simple, so delish. Perfect wholesome antidote for Halloween’s madness.