Why another cooking blog?

I decided to create this blog as a way for family and friends to see what I'm cooking and to share interesting food related tidbits I come across.
I'm frequently asked for recipes so I thought this would be a good place to start collecting the old, new, and funky recipes that I have.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Black Bean Soup

I had been having a craving for black bean soup for a little while. I made this last week one evening. I didn't have a recipe so I just pulled this recipe out of nowhere. I think it turned out pretty good, we all enjoyed it. Unfortunately when I pull a recipe out of nowhere I ususally do not have the wherewithal to write down what I'm putting in the recipe. This one is no exception. So that being said these ingredient measurements are a guessitmate. Sorry.

This post also gives me the opportunity to talk about one of my favorite phrases "mes en plas" or everything in place. I like saying it, it makes me feel all fancy and knowledgeable. Basically do your prep work ahead and you won't be rushing around trying to get something done when the recipe says in 2 minutes add the diced XYZ..... and you haven't even gotten the XYZ out of the fridge, or washed it let alone diced the suckers. Be organized! Dice your onions, measure out your spices, drain your beans, do whatever the recipes says to prep your food and then start cooking.
For instance, in this recipe I drained the beans in a collander and rinsed them and let them sit in the sink. I diced the onion, celery, carrot, sausage, garlic and set aside (separately). I had my cumin, chili powder, can of rotel, and chicken broth ready and waiting. That way cooking is not a rushed, stressed experience. P.S. It also helps to read the recipe through before starting.

Black Bean Soup
serves 8

3 cans of black beans, drained
bacon, 4 strips sliced
chili powder
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 stalks celery, sliced
2-3 carrots, sliced
1 can can of rotel
1/2 sausage link
34 oz. chicken broth

Cook bacon in a heavy cast iron pot. Once the bacon is cooked through and nicely crisp remove the bacon to a plate covered with a paper towel. Sample the bacon. Depending on the quality of bacon, you will either have a few tablespoons of grease or A LOT of grease. If you have A LOT of grease, ladle the grease out until you have a tablespoon or two. Then add your onion, carrots, celery and garlic. On lowish heat sweat the veggies until they are tender.  At this point I added some cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper (I didn't measure) add to taste. I'd say at least a teaspoon of cumin, maybe 1/2 a tsp of chili powder. Sample the bacon. Add your chicken broth, about 2/3 of the beans, and rotel. Bring to a boil then sample the bacon. Then get out your immersion blender and blend the soup until it is smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender then use your regular blender and do it in batches. Sample the bacon. Add the rest of the beans and the sausage. Serve once the sausage is hot. Don't forget to correct your seasoning, in other words taste it and add salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin.... whatever you think it needs.

My notes:
I cooked 4 slices of bacon, only about two were left by the time we were ready to eat dinner. So I always make extra bacon. Serve this soup with sour cream, cilantro, chopped tomatoes, bacon, whatever is your heart's desire. Next time I make this, I think I will brown the sausage a little prior to adding to the soup. If you think the soup is too thin, mix up a T of cornstarch and a T of water in a small bowl, then add to the soup, bring to a boil while stirring and it will thicken up nicely.
The kid heartily approved this soup and even ate leftovers which is unheard of.