Saturday, May 23, 2009
Black Bean Soup
Today I felt like making a big batch of black beans for soup. I start with a pound and a half of dried black beans from the health food store. Our local store sells a lot of beans from the bulk food bins. I am always surprised by how quickly fresh dried beans cook compared to what you buy in the regular grocery store. I started the beans from dry this morning, and they were completely soft in less than 2 hours. If you have a store near you that sells a lot of beans they will usually cook in the half the time of the older beans you typically find in the regular grocery stores.
Black beans have a lot of protein and fiber. The fiber in the beans helps to lower cholesterol and well as slowing the increase of blood sugar levels. Black beans are an excellent protein source for diabetics for this reason. Black beans are an excellent source of the trace mineral, molybdenum, which helps the body to detoxify sulfites. Black beans are a good source of the antioxidant anthocyanins, which helps the body to fight cancer.
Black Bean Soup
Makes approximately 8 - 10 servings
1 ½ pounds of black beans, picked through and rinsed
3 – 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
1 red onion, diced
5 stalks of celery, diced
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of dried onions
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of paprika
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
2 teaspoons of fennel seed
½ teaspoon of black pepper, freshly ground
1 ½ teaspoons of harissa
2 cups of frozen corn kernels
tofu sour cream, for garnish – optional
1 red onion, diced finely soaked in vinegar for 30 minutes - optional
lime wedges – optional
tortilla chips – optional
Cook the black bens until tender and set aside.
Place the remaining ingredients in a dutch oven and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes to soften the vegetables. When the vegetables are soft move the tomato mixture to your blender and process until smooth. Combine the pureed tomato mixture with the black beans and cook for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Add the corn kernels a few minutes before serving so they have time to thaw.
Serve the soup hot with tofu sour cream and pickled red onions on top. I also like to include a lime wedge for fresh juice on the soup, and a few tortilla chips.
This is a good soup to serve if the weather is a little cool, or you want a substantial meal. If you like heat you could double the amount of harissa. I was serving someone that doesn’t like heat and I used the maximum I thought they could tolerate. My husband and I both thought the heat level on this soup was mild.