More often that not, I tuck the printed version somewhere amongst a shelf of 1" binders and folders. Yes, I forget where they are and when they do make the cut to the outside world, I can't find the original recipe, or for that matter, the pic I took of it.
This recipe I remembered both because black bean soup is one of my top 5 absolute favorites and this was the best I have ever eaten. As far as I am concerned this as good as it gets with a no fuss attitude and ease of preparation and time.
The best part of this recipe was the goal of the writer. To make it ahead, store for a few days and finish off before serving. Most recipes can not be successful with a goal like that, example is most pasta dishes and braises.
After I sent my
You could use canned black beans and do a quick stove top version but the beans cook up better from a dry state. The addition of baking soda keeps the skins on and the beans remain firm, not mushy the way canned can be.
Serve with the standard condiments, wedges of lime, sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes and minced onion. I like a handful of tortilla chips with mine and The Nudge prefers baked veggie chips.
Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
makes 4 servings
* 1 pound bag black beans, soaked overnight, drained (or 2 cans, rinsed and drained)
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 4 small cloves garlic, minced
* 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder (or a good all AP chile powder)
* 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 1 large bay leaf or, two small
* 1 small can diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion
* 1/2 large red pepper, 1/2" dice
* 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
* 1 quart water
* salt & pepper to taste
1. In a dry skillet, toast the cumin seeds for 1 minute. Add the oil, onion, garlic, chile powder, paprika and bay leaf. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the chicken broth and stir to release all the fond on the pan. Pour contents into the sleeve of your slow cooker. Add the water, beans, baking soda, tomatoes and red pepper. Cover and set the timer to 6 hours on LOW or 3 hours on HI.
3. When done cooking, remove the bay leaf and add in the cilantro. Adjust salt & pepper.
4. Serve with lime wedges and condiments.
5. Freeze leftovers or use it in a batch of Ultimate Nachos.