South Beach Black Bean Soup

25Jan10

Taken by Neloqua (click above and see her flickr, she has an eye for color)

I had a job interview today and to destress myself afterwards decided to bake bread. I was going to post the recipe… but let’s just say a few more experiments are needed before I perfect it (it tastes great but could do with a facelift, or any type of lift actually – I think I killed the yeast)

To compensate for this culinary hiccup I decided to make South Beach Black Bean Soup. The name itself drew me in, how good does it sound? The color of the soup lived up to its title. It was a gorgeous rich, burnt orange from the red peppers/capsicums and was dotted with the softened black beans. A very heartwarming and comforting Cuban inspired soup in the face of a bread disaster (if you’ve got decent bread recipes please send or comment)!

Ingredients
2 1/3 cups dried black beans (I used 2 tins of black beans instead)
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 large red peppers, cored, seeded and chopped
3 onions, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp ground dried oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder or paste
zest of 1 lime, plus 2 quartered limes for serving
1/2 tablespoons muscovado or brown sugar
salt to taste
2 tbsp dry sherry
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander (sadly our plant has gone to a better place)
1 medium red onion, diced or in rings, for serving
1 cup yogurt or sour cream, for serving (optional)
Tobasco/chili, to serve

Method
Place the beans in a large pot and cover with 2 quarts/1.9 litres of water. There is no need to soak. Add the bay leaves and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the beans for 1 1/2-2 hours till soft but not squishy, stirring frequently and adding more water if necessary to keep them well covered. If using tinned means reduce the time to 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan and saute the peppers and onions over a medium heat until the onions are translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano and lime zest and saute for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer to blender and puree until smooth.

When the beans are almost tender, add the pureed mixture, sugar and salt to taste, to the beans and cook until just tender, 20-30 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and add the sherry if you’re serving straightaway, but otherwise season and sherry the soup when you’re reheating it later – you might also need water as the soup thickens when cooling.

To serve, put the coriander, red onion, quatered limes, and yogurt/sour cream in seperate bowls and bring these to the table with Tabasco/chili so people can add as much of each as they want.

P.S. According to my sister, who just came home, the soup is great cold.

P.P.S. Did I mention this amazing soup is vegan and vegetarian… if you hadn’t already guessed.

Source: How to Eat by Nigella Lawson

Best cooked to: Best cooked to the sweet sound of The Very Best (confession I actually baked the bread to this, but it definitely suits the soup more). The amazing trio behind this band currently reside in London, but singer Esau Mwamwaya is from Malawi and producers Johan Karlberg and Etienne Tron are from Sweden and France respectively. They’ve got an awesome sound of rehashed beats with Malawi inspired vocals – brilliant. And guess what… THEY’RE COMING TO AUSTRALIA… and they’ll be in my home town in approx. 4 days (I’m still rustling up tickets).

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4 Responses to “South Beach Black Bean Soup”

  1. mmm, sounds great! definitely filing this one away.

    • 2 wickesgirl

      there’s definitely something about black beans… they’re really hard to find in Australia, but I’ve got my sources sorted now so bring on the recipes.

  2. 4 Joann

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