Monday, January 26, 2015

Culinary Adventures: Black Bean Soup

I had every intention of making pasta fagioli for dinner on Wednesday night.  But on Tuesday night, after I went grocery shopping, I discovered I didn't have any cannellini beans in the pantry.  At all.  So it was time for a new game plan- I still wanted to make a soup, and I wanted to use only what I currently had on hand.

I didn't have any white beans, but I did have some black beans, so I found a recipe for black bean soup (which I didn't realize was a thing until I Google'd it).  I had to make some adjustments- for one thing, I cut the recipe in half, because I don't have 8-10 people to feed, and for another, I didn't have any onions or Worcestershire sauce.  The result is this delicious bowl of comfort that is sort of like a different take on taco soup- especially if you serve it with corn chips.  I found it to be just perfect with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese stirred in, and the toddler in our house, who has recently decided to be a picky eater, ate every single bite (and then some).  You could also go easy on the liquids and serve this with rice as more of a side dish than a soup, if you wanted.

*personal photo*
Black Bean Soup
adapted from Dave Lieberman

-5 slices of thick-cut bacon, sliced into thin lardons
-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
-1 C low-sodium chicken stock (more for a thinner soup, less for a thicker stew-y dish)
-1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
-1 Tbsp ketchup
-splash of white wine (1 tsp?)
-dash of chili powder (couple tsp?)
-2 (15.5oz) cans black beans, drained
-1 (14.75oz) can corn, drained
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 tsp parsley
-juice of 1 lime
-sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish

-Render the tiny bits of bacon in a dutch oven (or other heavy pot) over medium heat.  Once the bacon is crisp, toss in the garlic.

-Just when the garlic becomes fragrant- only about a minute- pour in the chicken stock, tomatoes, ketchup, wine, and chili powder.  Give it a stir, then add in the beans and corn and stir it some more.

-Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Let it bubble for about 10 minutes, then stir in the parsley.  

-Give it another 5 minutes and you'll notice it thickening up; squeeze in the lime juice, then season with salt and pepper.

-Top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, then enjoy!

**This makes about 5 or 6 servings, which was perfect for us- a serving each for dinner, then a serving each of leftovers.  Feel free to use the original amounts in the recipe- that is, double this recipe- if you're feeding a larger family or want to freeze half for later.**

What's your go-to pantry-raiding recipe?  Have you ever had to switch gears on your dinner plans when you noticed a key ingredient was missing?

Much love,
The Geeks

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