Growing up I was never a big fan of beans. I can't say exactly why, but aside for the occasional consumption of some baked beans at a BBQ I pretty much steered clear. As I have gotten older and have made it a priority to understand healthy eating the value of the bean has taken on a whole new meaning to me. Black beans are by far my favorite, I like to throw them into almost anything Mexican, as well as salads and soups. When I came across a recipe posted by my friend Canice for Black Bean Soup on the Cooking Light BB I decided to try it out and let the black bean take center stage. I highly regard Canice's recipes and ideas about food, and she did not let me down. Canice's Black Bean Soup is really amazing. I have made it many times before and thought it would be the perfect thing to serve for lunch to my friend Megan, who just had her little boy Mike three months ago and to my friend Christy, who is expecting her first little boy in about two months. Both mommies absolutely loved it. Thanks for an awesome recipe Canice!!
Canice's Black Bean Soup
Recipe by Canice, she says "Normal people like to purée part of their black bean soup for a rounder base. In this recipe I'd use the immersion blender for that effect."
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 strips bacon, cut into 1/4" slices
1 small-medium onion, diced
1 small-medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, cut into 1/4" slices
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp.cayenne powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 bay leaf
3 cups chicken broth
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. dark molasses
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. vegetable oil
4 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1/8 inch slices
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sliced bacon and cook until fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and salt, and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Mix in chili powder, cayenne powder, ground cumin, oregano, basil, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes more. Add chicken broth, black beans, and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Stir in molasses and vinegar and reduce heat: let simmer, partially covered, 45 minutes, adding a little water if necessary to maintain desired consistency.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp. vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add andouille slices. Cook 3 minutes, to render fat and crisp sausage. Turn once and cook an additional 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Chop if desired, or leave slices whole. After soup has simmered 45 minutes, add andouille and simmer an additional 15 minutes.
Serve hot with toppings such as:
Sliced green onions
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Usually I serve Canice's Black Bean Soup with corn bread, but I was dying to have my friends sample the recipe from my previous post, Garlic Flatbreads with Smoked Mozzarela and Tomato Vinaigrette so I served that as an appetizer. Canice's soup stole the show, however, both mommies were absolutely raving about it. It has a very deep, complex flavor, I hope someday I will be able to develop a recipe like this (Canice, you have some skills girl!) I replaced the andoulli sausage with turkey smoked sausage and garnished with sour cream and tomatoes. This recipe is a favorite in our home and will be made many more times. Tonight we will be enjoying the leftovers for dinner, probably with some corn bread!