Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This one is for Ashley :)

My great friend Ashley, with whom I grew up with, requested a soup. Since I love her and she has said she and her fiance make my dishes, how could I refuse. This is for them! (And anyone else who wants to try it.)

One of our favorite soups as a family is Black Bean Soup. It is super easy to make, filling and fun for kids to add the extras in. It is a good soup to make on a cold day and it also works in summer because it's not too heavy. Here it is! (*Note: I have a cold and forgot to take pictures until the very end so pardon me in this area.)

olive oil
diced onion
a couple minced garlic cloves
1 carrot diced
1 celery stalk diced
at least 2 cans black beans drained and rinsed
dash of cumin

Heat a soup pot on medium high, add olive oil. Add onion and garlic saute. Then add carrot and celery and saute some more. Add the black beans. (We use 2 cans for 3 people and Patrick and I usually have 2 helpings, so make to make more soup add more of everything.) Add oregano and salt to taste. You can also add a dash of cumin. (I think cumin has a tendency to over power so I only add a little.) Add broth, enough to cover. The more broth you add the soupier it will be, we like it thick so I add just enough to cover. I also tend to use veggie broth but a beef broth would make it rich as well. Bring to a simmer and let simmer until carrots and celery are tender. I tend to make an hour in advance and just let it simmer until it's time to blend. When it's time for dinner, if you had a hand held immersion blender like the one I am coveting use it to blend everything together. If you don't have one, then use your food processor and in small batches blend the soup.

You want it to be creamy. (A few pieces of carrot here and there are fine.) Serve!

This is fun and you can get creative. Here are some suggestions:
Avocado: I almost always have avocado on hand so I dice it up and put in a bowl at the table. (Of course last night I did not.)
Shredded cheese
Light sour cream, or the mexican Crema
Tortilla chips: I like to crunch them on top

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do. London really eats this up and it's super fun to let the kids decide what to add in. (Although she usually gets carried away with the sour cream.) She likes to have that option. You can also use the tortilla chips to dip with. (And if you wanted to make it even thicker add less broth and you have a yummy black bean dip!)