Black Bean Soup
MAKES: 4 servings
TIME: 30 minutes with cooked beans
This works best when you purГ©e some of the sturdy black beans and stir them back in, for a smooth-chunky effect. But in many Latin American versions the beans are left whole, with chunks of sweet potato, squash, or even mango added toward the end of cooking. A little alcohol is sometimes added to the finished soup to help cut the richness of the beans; orange juice and/or zest is another fine addition (see the variation). Omit the dairy garnish for a vegan soup.
2 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Chili Powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons sherry or dark rum (optional)
3 cups cooked black beans, drained
1 quart vegetable stock or water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
Sour cream or plain yogurt for garnish
Minced fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
01 Put the oil in a deep skillet or medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chile powder, and cumin and cook, stirring, for another minute.
02 Stir in the sherry if youвЂ™re using it, then cook for a minute and add the beans, stock, and some salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
03 Use an immersion blender to purГ©e some of the soup in the pan. Or cool the mixture slightly, pour about half of the soup into a blender, and carefully purГ©e. (The soup may be made ahead to this point, cooled, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat gently before proceeding.)
04 Add the lime juice and stir; taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve garnished with sour cream and minced cilantro.
Brazilian-Style Black Bean Soup. In Step 2, replace 2 cups of the stock with 2 cups orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed). Add 2 teaspoons minced or julienned orange zest in the last couple of minutes of cooking.