Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Black Bean Soup

Want to know why I love black beans?

Well, for one reason, they're delicious. I like them on their own as well as when they're incorporated into dozens of other dishes, from soups to quesadillas. And from an economical standpoint, they're easy on my pocketbook.

I also love their nutritional value. Black beans are high in cholesterol-lowering fiber, which also prevents the rapid rise of blood sugar levels after a meal, making them a good option for diabetics and people who are insulin resistant or hypoglycemic. They've also been found to contain more antioxidant compounds than any other bean.

But the main reason I love black beans is this:

The above photo is why I'm never again allowed to go into the grocery store without first smiling at myself in the rearview mirror before exiting my car. You would think that I would have learned that lesson long ago. Like maybe that one time when I went Christmas shopping at K-mart and simultaneously locked hands with another woman over a box of blue-light-special Turtle candies. When our eyes met, a look of horror crossed her face and she immediately let go of the box and said, "Looks like you need these more than me lady." My inspection in the rearview mirror upon my return to the car showed spaghetti sauce smeared from one corner of my mouth, half way up my cheek. I know, I know.... you guys don't know whether to feel sorry for me or shoot me, do you....

Black Bean Soup (adapted from Dave Lieberman at the Food Network)
1 pound dry black beans, rinsed, soaked and cooked per package directions. Drain and set aside.
4 slices center-cut smoked bacon
olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 banana pepper, seeded and diced
6 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 quart chicken stock
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used fresh, but you can use canned)
2 TBSP ketchup
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
2-3 tsp hot sauce (optional) I used Sriracha chili sauce
1 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
1/2 lime, juiced
sour cream, cheddar cheese and thinly sliced green onions for garnish

In large soup pot fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan to paper towel to drain. Add enough olive oil to rendered bacon drippings to equal about two tablespoons. Heat oil and add onion and banana pepper and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3-4 minutes then add pressed garlic. Saute for another minute or two before adding chicken stock, tomatoes, Worchestershire sauce, hot sauce (if using,) chili powder and cumin. Stir in beans and season again with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes. Add lime juice. If you like your soup chunky, serve as is. If you like it more creamy use either a submersion blender to smooth it out a bit, or transfer about 1/2 to a blender (in batches) and puree.

Remember those four bacon pieces you fried back at the beginning? Well, those are supposed to be either mixed into the soup or added as a garnish, but I got a little hungry while I was making this soup and they ended up garnishing my stomach instead. I thought the soup was terrific without.


Lady P said...

it is past midnight and the neighbors are wondering why i am laughing sooo loudly - but the thought of you with the spaghetti goo on your face, in a war over a box of chocolates was just way too much
i LUV this soup recipe, by the way, with Fall just around the corner, i am really gonna appreciate this one

Jennifer said...

That story is funny yet I am sure a bit embarrassing eh?!
I love black beans too!! This sounds sounds fabulous!!

stephchows said...

OMG hahahaha. You have very straight teeth btw :) That kmart story had me laughing so hard!!

Moogie said...

Mags & Lady P,

Goo on the face, fondling of nuts. I think you two are ready to hear a little of my poetry. I will email it to you, not quite appropriate for my food blog.

June said...

Ohh you make me laugh - spaghetti sauce??? Love black bean soup which reminds me I haven't made it for a while - I think this recipe's the best and really like the added heat. Last time I made it, long, long time ago I used a ham bone left over from Christmas I think. Yummm - it's on the list now!

Debbie said...

Oh what a funny post. Thank you for a good laugh!

Chocolate Cardamom Cappuccino said...

That is what I call a recipe

HoneyB said...

LOL oh my....I'm sitting here reading and Grumpy sees the teeth picture....and I'm laughing and he's like "whats that???" LOL. Maybe you kinda gotta be here....but oh your story had me laughing so hard that Grumpy was telling me to STOP!

Mags said...

Lady P: (HEE!) Love it when you laugh. Enjoy the soup!

Jennifer: Embarassing when it happened, for sure. It happened back when my kids were small and I was still working. Finished eating dinner late and realized we were out of diapers. Quick run to KMart without even thinking to check

Steph: Eight years of braces will do

Moogie: Squealing here! Can't wait to read your poems. I know you can write, so I'm expecting some goodies.

June: Yeah, spaghetti sauce. Can you believe it?...LOL! Ham bone would work great in this recipe, I think.

Debbie: My aim is to make you Glad you enjoyed!

Chocolate: Thank you! I think it's a keeper too.

Honey: LOL! You tell Grumpy that laughter is the best medicine!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

I love black bean soup, and my hubby hates it! This sounds like one that he might actually like, though... I will give it a try!

Mags said...

Jen: tell him it'll put hair on his chest and bulk in his bowels. He'll fall for it!

Kevin said...

That black bean soup sounds really tasty!

Mags said...

Kevin: Thanks for commenting!

lady said...

This was the best black bean soup I've ever had. Thanks for sharing!

Mags said...

Lady: Thank you for trying the recipe and stopping back here to comment!