Best Black Bean Soup

Miami Herald - - TROPICAL LIFE -

This Amer­i­can clas­sic can be a per­fect dish: big-tast­ing, fill­ing, nu­tri­tious, easy and very pos­si­bly veg­e­tar­ian. With their rich nat­u­ral broth, tur­tle beans do not need bacon, ham or any meat in­gre­di­ent to make a sat­is­fy­ing soup. Black bean soup recipes have a ten­dency to turn out sludgy or bland, but the trick here is to sea­son gen­er­ously, and purée spar­ingly. The beans should be swim­ming in liq­uid, not sit­ting in sludge: The more beans are puréed, the more starch is re­leased into the soup. For fla­vor, this recipe de­ploys mar­i­nated chipo­tle chiles, but a ta­ble­spoon each of ground cumin and ground co­rian­der make a good heat-free sub­sti­tute. (A note: Since there is acid from the wine here, if your tap wa­ter is hard there might be a reaction that will pre­vent the beans from soft­en­ing. To be safe, add the wine later, along with the stock. And if there is any ques­tion about the hard­ness of your wa­ter, use dis­tilled.) Recipe by Ju­lia Moskin. Yield: 10 serv­ings

To­tal time: About 2 hours

For the soup:

1 small (7-ounce) can chipo­tle

chiles in adobo (see Tip) 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil 2 car­rots, peeled and

chopped

2 onions, peeled and chopped 4 gar­lic cloves, minced

1 cup red wine

2 jalapeño pep­pers, seeded

and chopped

1 pound dry black beans (do

not soak)

2 quarts mild veg­etable or

chicken stock

1 ta­ble­spoon dried oregano,

prefer­ably Mex­i­can 2 bay leaves

1 ta­ble­spoon kosher salt 1 tea­spoon ground black

pep­per

Red wine vine­gar, to taste

For the pick­led onions and

gar­nishes (op­tional):

1 small red onion, peeled and

thinly sliced

Freshly squeezed juice of 2

limes

Salt

Sour cream or Mex­i­can crema Whole cilantro leaves

Thinly sliced fresh chiles Sliced av­o­cado

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