Monday, April 19, 2010

Loving This Soup

Last week, I drove up to Petaluma to drop Cora off for her stay at the ultra-luxurious doggie dude ranch and spa. While we were away, she was going to get the full treatment of daily play with other dogs, private sleeping quarters and a shampoo and fluff dry. She may not care to come home after all that fun and pampering.

We stopped for lunch at cousin Jan's house and she served the best black bean soup I have ever tasted, bar none. Jan, being the modest soul that she is, was quite surprised when I whipped out my camera to record the soup for the blog and begged for the recipe.

There is something about these humble ingredients that really sings once you put them together, rather like a choir with all different voices that harmonize wonderfully. I slurped down a big bowl and looked around for more. And since winter is reluctant to give up and let go, it might even be welcome now on a brisk day.

Jan's Black Bean Soup

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 cans (15 oz) black beans (she uses low-salt versions)
1 can broth (she used chicken but vegetable or beef also work well)
1 can diced tomatoes (she uses petite cut with onions and garlic, but Italian or Mexican flavors work well, too)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon vinegar (balsamic this time but red or white wine vinegar work, too)
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 small can of corn (or frozen)
taste and, if needed, add a squirt of lemon juice.
Sartain's Menu sauce, to taste (this is a mild chipotle pepper sauce)

Mash up one can of beans until broken and pasty. Sauté onion in oil 'til lightly browned. Add garlic to onions and cook about 1 minute. Add all the other ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer 8-10 minutes, stirring often.

Very good with cornbread.

Tastes even better if allowed to cool and reheated. This soup is different every time she makes it. You can add any extra vegetables or meats which are left over and make a thicker soup, or stew. As you can see, Jan added a little chopped potato, sliced carrots and Swiss chard.

Adding chili powder and cilantro, top with diced avocado, gives it a Mexican twist. Adding oregano, basil and topping with parmesan cheese gives it an Italian slant. And, of course, a generous pour of Sartain's Sauce with some garlic bread makes it a perfect rainy day food.

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Blogger Louis la Vache said...

Oh, yes! «Louis» thinks this would be superb with cornbread!

Monday, April 19, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Louis, or I might try my new favorite biscuits...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010  

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