Black Bean and Stone Soup
Can’t quite believe we haven’t posted a Black Bean Soup yet, so as I sit and avoid a run in the rain, it seems like sharing what I have on the stove is the best thing to do. December 2012 has gotten off to a rough start. Some above average temperatures are confusing us all, and now that it’s cold out…well, it still seems to not be cold enough for the snow we were dreaming about, just rain (friends in Minnesota…we are a bit jealous…well I am). This is a great soup to make when you are trying to get a lot done around the house or in your home office and want a really yummy smell to keep you company…or when you want to procrastinate running…or doing taxes, but still be able to act like you’re hard at work. Oh, it’s also really good…and nice and warm as the days grow colder…whether there is snow or not!
Soak the beans overnight (with your magic stone) or 6 to 8 hours prior to cooking. Drain and rinse.
In a large pot, bring 1/2 cup water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and beginning to brown and carrots are starting to caramelize (10-15 minutes). Add red pepper and cook until it begins to grow tender. Stir in cumin and chipotle and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add drained beans and 10 cups water. Bring soup to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until beans are tender. Remove 4 cups soup and carefully *purée in a blender (other option is to use a stick blender, but remember only purée part of your soup, you want some whole beans for a nice rich tapestry of flavors). Return purée to pot and stir in cilantro and lime juice. Spoon into bowls for serving and garnish with avocado (optional).
This goes great with crusty bread and is a nice nutritional addition to traditional holiday time fare, like latkes or gingerbread cookies.
*remember when you are puréeing your soup (however you do it) to mind your stone – kitchen blades don’t like them
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