I love beans. Beans were very important in my mother’s life in Holland where she resided within a family of 12 with scant financial means. The beans found in Holland were a real staple for their family during winter. My very American in-laws also used beans for their staple survival diet. They lived on the Central Coast of California during the depression right near King City. That tiny town, of Steinbeck fame, grew and still grows the most fabulous “Pink Beans”. You must buy them straight from King City because the other pretend pinks found elsewhere do not compare. I truly learned how to cook beans from “Mom” (Mother-In-Law). The Van Horns shot the deer, grew the veggies, and ate the beans. That’s how they survived during that difficult period. Luckily they lived in an area which provided that wonderful eatable bonus. Beans are nutritious and full of fiber. When mixed with rice or the like, they make a “perfect protein”. Oh hale to that little bean: it was even buried with the pharos in Egypt to make sure that their last journey was healthy and fulfilling. The world leader today of the dry bean is Brazil; the USA is 6th in line. So, with that entire in mind, herewith is a black bean recipe that I hope you’ll all enjoy.
Black Bean Soup
4 to 6 servings
Here’s a dish that besides being delicious, low in calories and healthy. is quick and easy to make. You could serve it with yogurt biscuits or tortillas of course. You can use your very own cooked black beans or for the quick version, CANNED.
2 Tblsp. Olive Oil
2 Medium Yellow Onions, chopped
1 Tblsp. Minced Garlic
2 Tblsp. Chopped Uncooked Bacon
1/2 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (leave out if you don’t like the heat)
S&P to taste
3 Cups Cooked Black Beans (if using canned and with juice, reduce the stock to 3 ½ C. However, you can also drain the beans from the can and then use the 4 C. of stock)
4 Cups Beef Stock
Minced Cilantro Leaves and Sour Cream or Yogurt For Garnish
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and after a minute or so, add the yellow onions and garlic. Stir until they are soft (5 minutes or so).
2. Add the beans, stock, red pepper, S&P, bacon and stock.
3. Bring to a slight boil and turn to medium low. Simmer uncovered, stirring every now and then for about 15 minutes.
4. At this point you can either mash the contents of the soup with a potato masher, or you can puree HALF of the soup in a blender (so as to leave some whole beans in the soup).If blending, pour the contents back in the pot.
5. If you wish for an extra smooth, creamy texture you can do the following: Take an egg yolk that is very clean of the white and beat it with a fork in a small cup;add some of the hot soup liquid to it and beat some more; then add the egg contents to the mixture in the pot.
6. Serve it topped with cilantro leaves and a generous dab of sour cream or yogurt. You can also top it with some crumbled white and/or yellow cheese or tomato bits. You can even float a bit of sherry on top or sprinkle some lime juice in it.
Additionally, other spice variations while cooking would be adding cumin or curry.
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Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share. For comments, questions, and ideas please feel free to email her or comment on the blog firstname.lastname@example.org http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com