Thursday, December 11, 2008
Black Bean Soup With a Kick
I stinking love how easy soups can be. I came home from work and pretty much just threw a bunch of crap in a pot, let it simmer for 20 minutes and had a meal. I stuck pretty closely to the Gourmet recipe on this one, with one modification: no jalepenos. Ever since my former roommate (Rebecca) made salsa from scratch and burned her hands on the jalapenos I've been a bit uneasy about dealing with the hot pepper. I know the seeds are the killers, but still. I have a thing against stuff that is so spicy you can't taste anything but the heat. I substituted a bit of cayenne pepper, which, as it turns out, is only slightly less hazardous. I sprinkled some of the red pepper into the soup and leaned in to take a whiff of the cumin and chili powder sweltering in the pot and completely inhaled the cayenne pepper. It coated the inside of my nose, my sinuses and all the way back to my throat. Woah! I coughed, sneezed and ran for some water. Fortunately the burn only lasts a minute, unlike Rebecca's jalapeno burn (which lasted all night)--seriously people, be careful with the hot peppers. Black Bean Soup: 1/2 medium onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1/4 cup green pepper, (duh) chopped 1 russet potato, chopped 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil dash salt dash cayenne (aka red) pepper (a little goes a long way here) 1 1/4 teaspoon chili powder 1 1/4 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock 1 bay leaf optional: grated cheese (colby, jack, cheddar) Add oil to 5-quart pot on med/high heat. Saute potatoes for a couple minutes, then add onions, peppers and garlic (mmm, garlic) on med/high heat until onions are lightly browned. Add spices, salt and pepper while the vegetables are sauteing (carefully). Add beans, stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Blend 1 cup of soup mixture in food processor or blender (genius trick to thicken bean soups, works every time). Use caution when transferring hot liquids. Reheat, if necessary. Serve (I highly recommend using cheese).