I’ve spent years trying to figure out how to make a really good Black Bean Soup. Sure, you can go on the big, fat, liar known as the Internet and find thousands of recipes for Black Bean Soup.
But I was looking for good soup and sometimes Internet recipes aren’t what you’d call … good.
I discovered this fact one day while looking for a new macaroni and cheese recipe. I found several that called for chicken and Kraft cheese slices. That right there scared me away from using the Internet as a recipe source. Well, that and the plethora of *5 star* squirrel recipes that can be found.
So one day on a whim I put a call out on Facebook proclaiming my need for the perfect Black Bean Soup recipe. 2 conditions. It must not contain tomatoes (because in my mind Black Bean Soup with tomatoes in it, is tomato soup) and … it must be good.
A reader steered me towards a recipe for Brazilian Black Bean Soup on Epicurious.com. It was indeed an Internet recipe, but Epicurious can be trusted for the most part, (they don’t feature a single recipe featuring squirrel) plus there wasn’t a tomato to be seen. It was almost perfect. I fiddled with it a bit, changed a few ingredients and screwed around with the spices. Several batches later I think I finally have the perfect Black Bean Soup.
I didn’t steer you wrong with the Antojitos did I? No. No, I did not. So I suggest if you’re looking for the perfect Black Bean Soup recipe, you try this one.
It’s good. Even though it is on the Internet. But the difference between the regular Internet and MY Internet, is MY Internet doesn’t lie.
Black Bean Soup
2 cans black beans
3 cups chicken stock ( vegetable stock for vegetarians/vegans )
2 tablespoons oil (approximately)
1 cup onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large carrot, chopped small
1 stalk celery, chopped small
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (more if you love coriander)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (more if you love cumin)
2 oranges, peeled, sectioned and seeded (Sumo oranges if you can find them)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
1. Drain beans, but don’t rinse. Heat in a pot with 3 – 3 ½ cups of chicken stock.
2. Meanwhile, saute onions and garlic in oil until translucent.
3. Add carrot, celery, coriander and cumin. Saute until carrots and celery are tender. (you can add a few tablespoons of water to speed things up)
4. Add contents of saute pan to beans and stock. Simmer ½ an hour or so to allow flavours to meld.
5. Add orange, pepper and lime juice (just a small squeeze … you can add more later). Simmer 15 minutes.
6. Remove pot from heat. Ladle out 1 cup or so of liquid and reserve.
7. Pour soup into blender and blend on low-medium until smooth. Add in reserved liquid until soup is desired consistency. (You may have to add all of the liquid back … I always reserve around half the liquid from a soup I’m going to blend because that way you never run the risk of the soup being too … well … soupy. You have better control of it’s final consistency)
8. Serve with a dollop or swirl of sour cream on top and fresh a fresh squeeze of lime juice if that sort of thing appeals to you. Delicious with a whole grain Ciabatta to sop up the soup.
And just so you aren’t in for any surprises … about an hour after eating this soup, you WILL toot. A lot. You will toot a great deal.
The good news is … it won’t be as bad as a squirrel toot. They’re the worst.