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Souper Thursday – Black Bean Soup

Soup is one of those dishes that seems right anytime.   Black Bean Soup is simple and hearty and really tasty too.  This one you will make again and again 🙂  If you like soup and you prefer simple, this is a soup you’ll love!

Black Bean Soup

1 lb dried black beans
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil or bacon fat

Queso fresco
chopped fresh cilantro
chopped green onion
6 slices of bacon (optional)

Rinse the black beans well then place in a large pot and cover with water.  Soak the beans overnight or if you are in a hurry bring them to a boil, turn off the heat and allow them to sit for 1 hour.  The beans will swell as they soak so use a pot large enough to accommodate beans that are about twice the volume you started with.

While you are waiting for the beans to swell, fry the bacon and set it aside to crisp up, reserving the bacon fat if you plan to use it in the soup.  (A note here:  Fat is essential for making things tasty.  The fat in a recipe enhances and releases the flavor of the spices, so don’t skip this ingredient.  Foods with little or no fat usually include more salt or sugar to enhance flavor, so don’t skip the fat.)

Whether you soak the beans overnight or boil and then soak, drain the beans and refill the pot with enough water to cover the beans.  Add the garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, cumin and olive oil or bacon fat, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 to1-1/2 hours.  Continue adding water as needed to make sure beans are covered.  The water will become thicker and brownish as the beans cook and the starch in them is released.

When beans are done remove 1/2 the beans and the liquid and allow them to cool before placing them into a blender and blending until smooth.  You will most likely need to do this in batches, and you may need to add some water to achieve the consistency you want.   You must be careful to allow the beans to cool before blending as the hot liquid creates pressure and can blow off the lid of the blender and create a real mess.  (This is the voice of experience talking now.)  Once you have blended 1/2 the beans return them the whole beans still in the pot and heat through, adding more water as needed.  When it’s thoroughly heated serve and garnish with crumbled queso fresco (or cheese of your choice), chopped cilantro, green onions, and crumbled bacon.

This can be made ahead and will keep for several days in the refrigerator or can be frozen in an airtight container. Enjoy!



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