Friday, December 9, 2011

Brazilian Black Bean Soup

This recipe comes from the old original Moosewood Cookbook that I've had for years.  As usual, I change things up a little.  The pages are yellowing around the edges and the pages are wrinkled and stained from years of use, but my favorite thing would be the handwritten notes on some of the recipes from my friend who borrowed it many years ago.  :::love:::  

2 cups dry black beans, soaked
6 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups chopped onion
10 (yes, 10) cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp cumin
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups orange juice
black pepper, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste
2 medium tomatoes, diced
3-4 green onions, sliced
optional toppings:  vegan sour cream
                             fresh chopped cilantro

Place the soaked beans in a Dutch oven with 4 cups water.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until tender, about 1 1/2 hours.  I do this ahead of time - in fact, I always have beans of all kinds cooked without salt or other seasonings in my freezer, frozen flat in Ziploc bags in 2 cup quantities.  Freezing them flat allows for quick thawing time and the 2 cup quantity is about equivalent to a regular sized can of beans.  

Heat olive oil in a medium sized skillet.  Add onions, garlic, cumin, salt, and carrot.  Saute' over medium heat until the carrot is just tender.  Add the bell pepper and saute' until everything is very tender, an additional 10-15 minutes.  Add the sauteed mixture to the beans.  

Stir in the orange juice (I thought this was a weird addition, too, but trust me on this - it is delicious), peppers, green onions, and tomatoes.  The recipe in the book recommends pureeing all or part of the soup in a blender, but I have never done that.  I do us a potato masher to mash some of the beans to thicken to soup, but I like this soup to be chunky.  Continue simmering over low heat for an additional 10-15 minutes until piping hot.  Serve with optional ingredients.  

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