Almost every time I talk with someone about food, I tell them about my yummy Black Bean soup! I haven't tried any other recipes, there might well be others even better but I love the one I make. If I make a big batch, I eat it every day 'til it's gone and never get tired of it!
It can be served hot with lots of cilantro and sour cream or it can be served cold with some yogurt and a dash of cumin, perfect for hot weather days - I can still get my soup fix!
Since I've told so many people about it - and often promised to provide the recipe but then forget - I thought I'd write it out here. Try it sometime, it's so easy and so yummy!
It comes from a fantastic little book I found at a thrift shop for a buck and am so glad I did. It's called "More Home Cooking" by Laurie Colwin. (I guess there must be a "Home Cooking" then which I would love to find!") It's not really a cookbook, it's a book of essays about food with lots of tips and recipes thrown in. I love it! I've made several things from it and never been disappointed! It's just a pleasure to read if you like food!
I'm going to write it as she has!
For Black Bean Soup, however, beef broth from a can is fine. Soak 2 cups of dried beans in cold water to cover for one hour and drain them. Combine them in a large pot with two 12 ounce cans of beef broth and one 28 ounce can of peeled tomatoes. People in a hurry often open up the can, drain the juice into the pot, and then slice up the tomatoes with a knife while they are still in the can. I would never let anyone catch me doing this but I do it all the time. Add one cup of water, two big cloves of garlic, chopped up fine, one minced onion and two or three smallish potatoes, cut into pieces. Cover the pot, put it on a flame tamer over very low heat and get lost. (I am on record in my belief that the flame tamer, a widely available metal disk that reduces a flame's intensity, can be the source of much domestic tranquility, but it is a somewhat controversial piece of equipment, because many people would never dream of leaving the house with the stove on. I, however, do it all the time.)
On a flame tamer, a good black bean soup takes at least five hours to cook, hours in which you could be writing a novel, composing a brief, arguing with your dry cleaner or playing catch with your child and her friends. You might yak on the telephone, balance your checkbook, or go thru piles of work. You might even go shopping for yourself, remembering to stop afterward to buy some bread and cheese. But whatever you do, while your soup is cooking, you are not!
Once the five hours are up, stir in the juice of one lime. Then you can decide what texture you want your soup to have. You can puree' part if it or the whole thing or leave it as is.
I have a flame tamer myself and also leave the house with the stove on. My flame tamer resembles the old Jiffy Pop popcorn thing and I love it. I usually puree' most of mine with a hand immersion blender.
Let me know if you give this soup a try. Bon Appetite!