Sunday, February 22, 2015

Nutrient Rich Black Bean Soup

Black bean soup. For almost 20 years now I've been using Mary McDougall's recipe that I wrote about here. Then I kept seeing Chef AJ demonstrating this soup in almost all her presentations, including just a few weeks ago in Hawaii in a speech titled Are You Ready to go Unprocessed?

I found this version of it online, a half-batch that uses "only" 2 pounds of greens:

Nutrient Rich Black Bean Soup
This soup contains over 4 pounds of veggies!!!

6 cups no-sodium broth or water
1 red onion, peeled
3 cans no-salt added black beans
4 cloves garlic
1 pound mushrooms
1 pound baby bok choy (apx 3)
1 large sweet potato, peeled if not organic (apx 1 pound)
1 pound bag frozen corn, defrosted
1 1/2 ounce sun-dried tomatoes, not oil-packed
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder, or more to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup lime juice with zest

Place water or broth and one bag of the corn in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add half of the beans, garlic, sundried tomatoes, onions, sweet potatoes and greens in a large soup pot. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. There is no need to cut anything up as the soup will be blended. If you are using salt-free beans it is not even necessary to rinse or drain them. Remove from heat and blend soup with an immersion blender. 

Stir in cumin, oregano, Chipotle Paste, lime juice and remaining beans and corn. Garnish with Pepitas and cilantro or scallions, if desired. 

Another place where it was written, either she or the blogger (I forget who) said if bok choy isn't available, celery can be used, so since that's all I had access to, celery it was. I made this up before the first snow storm, so I still had access to decent mushrooms and sweet potatoes, but that store never has baby bok choy.

When she does the demonstrations, the pot is usually whisked off to a kitchen somewhere and behind the scenes people finish the blending portion so we never see the end results. Here's what mine looked like:

 This stuff was so thick the spoon could stand straight up in it! My husband, like most grown men who still have the adolescent mind-set, made a few gross jokes about its appearance, but stopped laughing after tasting the first mouthful. This stuff was good!

Was it better than Mary's recipe? Well, they're both so completely different that I could make one version one day, the other the next, and each will seem unique, unlike the other.

Will I make it again? I already have. Even making just the half batch size we had enough for 1 large bowl each for dinner, and it was so thick and filling that neither of us wanted seconds, so we had plenty left over for another dinner, so this was another of those recipes perfect for these snowed-in weeks we're having. The last time I made it I was reduced to using freeze dried sweet potatoes. I added another 2 cups of water and a cup of the dried potatoes. Not as tasty as using fresh potatoes, but good enough.

I have one more recipe to post to catch up with my backlog of food photos, and then I can start fresh again.

And once I can get the car out of the ice and drive to the grocery store, be prepared for even more newly tried recipes.

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