Black Bean Soup
Black beans are an excellent legume. They’re small, don’t have a strong flavor and become heavenly with cumin. Seriously, cumin makes beans, tofu, and roasted mushrooms so much better than they already are. I’ll explore the idea of fajitas + tofu at a later date. Fun fact: firm tofu was only $1.44 a pack at my local Walmart. Naturally, I got 3 packages for food blog purposes. Maybe one day I’ll get my dad to try tofu without him immediately scrunching his face in disgust. Anyway, back to the beans. So you know how people say “this recipe is super easy” and then they have an ingredient list that rivals the first page of the dictionary and then the actual directions could be an Ernest Hemingway novel? Yeah, this isn’t one of those posts. This is easy, I promise. Half the ingredient list is spices that you might already have in your cabinet. This is an excellent “oh I have most of these ingredients in my pantry, I only need 2 things from the grocery store” type of meals. My personal favorite. That’s enough yapping from me, for now. Onward to the actual “food” part of this blog.
- 1 Onion
- 1 Bell pepper
- 6 Cloves of garlic
- 3 Celery stalks
- 4 tsp Cumin
- 2 tsp Chili powder
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- 3 Bay leaves
- 2 tsp Salt – to taste
- 4 cans Black beans
- 1 can Diced tomatoes – flavored
- 4 – 6 cups Water
- Gather your ingredients, some parts of this can move very quickly if you easily forget about things and make lots of last-minute decisions, i.e.. Lynona
- Chop the onion, bell pepper, celery, and the garlic. You can begin sautéing the onions while still chopping the bell pepper and garlic, multitasking isn’t essential, go at your own pace. Add the celery and garlic as you finish chopping them.
- Once vegetables are softened, add the spices, including the bay leaves. Leave the bay leaves whole so retrieving them later isn’t a nightmare. You don’t want to serve bay leaves, they are purely for flavor.
- Once your kitchen smells incredible, add the can of diced tomatoes. Cook until boiling, then add 4 – 6 cups of water. 4 cups will make a thicker soup, 6 cups will make a more broth-y soup. Purely your preference.
- Let all of this simmer for about 30 minutes. A perfect amount of time to make Cilantro Rice! The recipe is below.
- Scoop into a bowl with some Cilantro Rice and cornbread, garnish with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime on top.
The help thicken the soup, add a tablespoon of cornstarch + water to make a paste or smash/blend about a third of the beans, add back in and simmer another 5 – 10 minutes. If you don’t have a particular spice, feel free to reasonably improvise. I’d say the cumin and paprika are the most important for flavor. One could eat this with Cilantro Rice or cornbread.
- 2 cups of rice – any variety
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Salt – to taste
- Cook the rice according to the intrusions on the box/package.
- While the rice is cooking, finely chop a handful of cilantro. If you chop a bit too much, its fine because I use cilantro as a garnish for the entire meal. I thoroughly enjoy the taste and aroma of it.
- Let the rice cool for a few minutes, then add to a large bowl with the cilantro and lime juice. Salt to taste.
- And now you have delicious, easy, cilantro rice!
I don’t really have any notes other than to enjoy this rice with other things like fajitas, this soup, or anything else you would eat rice with.