Spring Cleaning and Jamaican Black Bean Soup

4.16.10 § 6 Comments

I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, writing on a blog is like keeping my room clean.  I love it when everything is in its place (or in the case of the blog, when I’m posting all the time).  However, the second I throw one piece of clothing on the floor, it’s a downward spiral.  For some reason, it’s like once I’ve made a tiny bit of a mess, I feel like I’ve given myself permission to throw things everywhere.  I can’t help this.  Maybe it’s genetic (my mom is going to get really tired of me talking about her on here but she seems to be the same way).  Before I know it, it’s out of control and there is stuff everywhere.  Or in the case of the blog, I end up going two weeks without posting and the whole time all I want to do is write a post!

So, here is my attempt at spring cleaning.  I’m writing a post.  About soup.  Yummy, yummy soup.

I think that black bean soup is awesome in general.  But this black bean soup is especially awesome.  It involves quite a bit of chopping, but I am the kind of person that thinks spending time in the kitchen is relaxing.  So, put on an audiobook and get to it.

This soup is great on its own, with avocado on top, over chicken, mixed with rice, on top of an enchilada…you name it.  And it’s another one of those that is better after a day in the fridge or a few weeks in the freezer.

I promise my next post will be more entertaining.  Like I said, it’s like cleaning my room – I had to just grit my teeth and start posting again.  But let me tell you, it feels great.  I’ve got about ten posts lined up (see, it isn’t that I haven’t been cooking, photographing, etc – I’ve just been lazy about writing about it!).  For those of you who have been checking my site anyway, thanks.  I appreciate it!

Jamaican Black Bean Soup
from The Foster’s Market Cookbook

2 cups dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
¼ cup olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
4 ribs celery, diced
2 jalapeños, diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 tbsp dried basil
8 cups chicken broth
4 bay leaves
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
juice of 4 limes (really)
avocado to garnish (optional)
cilantro to garnish (optional)

Quick soak the beans:  Place the beans in a large pot and cover with 3 inches of water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain, rinse and set aside

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.  Cook the onion until soft, 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add red bell pepper, carrots, celery and jalpeños and cook about 10 minutes more.  Add garlic and cook 2 minutes longer.

Add basil, apple, broth, bay leaves, salt, pepper and drained beans and stir to blend.  Bring to a low boil then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 1¼ hours (or until the beans are tender).

Allow the soup to cool slightly then pull out the bay leaves.  Use an immersion blender to puree the soup a little.  (I like to leave it a little bit chunky because it feels more rustic, but you can puree it until it is smooth if you want.)  If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can transfer about half of the soup to a food processor, puree and then transfer it back to the pot.  Cook 15 more minutes.  (I have no idea why, but I usually do what Sara Foster says…)  Remove pot from heat and stir in lime juice.  Garnish and serve!



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