Spicy Black Bean Soup

13 12 2010

Oh Hi, still there, it’s bean awhile, sorry, couldn’t resist the pun to the blog title. But it has been some time since my last blog, they say time makes the heart grow fonder, or in this case, the tummy hungrier 🙂

I have made this bean soup over and over again, Tony loves it, I love it, it is just so good. It is from a cook book that will remain nameless but I think with my edits we’re safe. I make it using Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce. You have probably seen this can to the right when perusing the grocery isles? I picked it up at Planet Organic awhile ago knowing an opportunity to use them would come along. Does anyone else do that, just buy different food ingredients in hopes to use them one day? My favourite thing to do when travelling is grocery shop, I have got some of the best stuff that way!

I tried this recipe for the first time last winter and when it asked for chipotle peppers, jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and dried, I was stuck. Until ‘Oh yeah, I have a can of chipotle in adobo sauce’! What’s adobo sauce? It’s a general Latin American sauce of tomatoes, garlic, vinegar and spices (so says Wikipedia). I thought, that’ll work. What I love about using these is they go a long way and I freeze the rest (not in the can).

  • 1 small Onion, chopped (I don’t skip the onion in this recipe, but if you want to make this sattvic, than skip, I’m sure it would be fine. I don’t add garlic, but you can do that too, 2-4 cloves)
  • 1 stalk Celery
  • 3 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, chopped (if you don’t like spice, maybe try 1-2 peppers for first pot of soup; if you do have dried Chipotle Peppers, use them instead!)
  • 2 cans of Black Beans (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tsp white wine or regular white Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground Cloves (about 8 whole cloves)
  • 2 small Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp ground Pepper
  • 6 cups Vegetable Stock (2-3 low sodium cubes and 6 cups boiling water)

In a soup pot, saute the onion and celery (and garlic if using it) in the olive oil until soft. Add everything else, including the vegetable stock, stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and cook uncovered until the sweet potatoes are softened, about 10-15 minutes. Once sweet potatoes are soft, take it off the heat and puree with an emersion blender. You can use a regular blender but remember not to close the lid tight, better to let the soup cool and then blend, the steam can cause an explosion. Bad for hands and ceiling. I have also seen cooks put a dish cloth between the blender and lid so the steam escapes and is not trapped when blending. Whatever you do, be careful and if you make soup now and then, go get an emersion blender, the best kitchen investment you’ll make.

I like to serve this soup with diced tomatoes, red peppers or avocado on top with a splash of lime juice and tortilla chips.

Eat Well, Be Well,

Nat

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Fast Food

21 03 2010

Friday night was our first night back and we were craving fast and comforting food. I love Mexican but unless you are buying and cutting up veggies like we did, plentiful veggies are hard to come by eating out. We were foggy headed on Friday – got home at 2AM, into bed by 3AM and gone by 9AM and dealing with daylight savings, that happens April 4 in Sayulita. I made it to Planet Organic for groceries and looked in the freezer and fridge to sort out dinner. Before Mexico I threw leftover cooked quinoa and brown rice in the freezer. Along with the veggies I picked up I made this healthful bowl for dinner, it was great and hit the spot.

2 cups cooked Quinoa and Brown Rice

3-4 Sun Dried Tomatos in oil, finely diced + tsp or so of the oil

3 Yellow Beets, cubed

3 small Sweet Potatoes, cubed

1/2 Red Onion, chopped

1 Red Pepper, chopped

1 Zucchini, chopped

3 Tbsp Olive Oil, salt & pepper and various spices like oregano, dried basil, thyme and rosemary

Crumbled Feta Cheese

Heat oven to 425F. Place beets, sweet potatoes and onion in a roasting dish, toss with olive oil and spices and roast for 45 to 60 min, stir occasionally. Roast until veggies start to soften, add the red pepper and zucchini, roast a bit longer, say 15-30 min, depends on the dish you use and how cooked the veggies are. Just aim to have them all about the same texture, soft not mushy. When they are ready, in a heated saute pan add the rice, quinoa and sun dried tomatoes with oil and stir-fry till hot. In a big bowl add the rice, spoon over the veggies and top with feta, as much as you like. Garnish with fresh cracked pepper. Dinner is served.

Eat well, Nat