Thursday, January 21, 2010

Black Bean Soup with Savory Cream

Boy, do I like bean soups:
  • they're cheap to make
  • they're easy to make (once that pot's bubbling, you can head off to do whatever else you want
  • they're satisfying
  • they freeze exceptionally well, so you can always have a dinner on hand in the freezer
  • they taste better the day after they're made - perfect for a weekend cook day that results in a weeknight dinner
I didn't think I'd posted a black bean soup recipe before, but I did - almost three (!) years ago. This recipe is a little different from that one. To garnish, I'm using a savory whipped cream that I flavored with lime zest and cumin. It was a nice switch from sour cream and I usually have heavy cream on hand. The lovely ladies at food52 posted on this idea a few weeks ago. I recommend a visit to their site to learn about other savory whipped cream ideas.

Weekends are perfect for whipping up a batch of bean soup, so here are a few others to try:
Black Bean Soup
serves 4-6 - the soup doubles (or even quadruples!) really well
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin
  • 1 pound black beans, picked over (sometime there's a stone or two in that bag) and rinsed until water runs clear
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (optional)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
Saute onion over medium-high in a a little oil until softened. Add the garlic, cumin and a healthy sprinkle of salt. Stir and saute a few minutes until fragrant. Add black beans, tomatoes (if using) and cover with water by 1". Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Let soup simmer until beans are very soft. Depending on the age of the beans you're using, this could take anywhere from 1-3 hours. Stir the soup occasionally to make sure it's not sticking to the bottoom of the pot. Also, add water as needed, to keep things "soupy".

When the beans are cooked down the soup is pretty much done. Taste the soup for salt and pepper and adjust the seasoning as needed.

To garnish with the whipped cream: whip the heavy cream, lime zest and cumin with a whisk or electric mixer until it forms soft peaks.

Serve the soup topped with the cream - I sprinkled a little cilantro across our soup, but that's not required of course.

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