Like the basic black dress, this soup takes to all sorts of accessorizing. See the “Different Spins” section for some ideas. To shorten the cooking time of the beans a bit, you could soak them overnight in cold water to cover by 2 inches. When you’re ready to make the soup, drain off the soaking water before proceeding. The cooking time in step 2 will be cut in half.
Timing alert: This soup takes at least 1½ hours to make, and if you choose to soak the beans ahead of time, you should expect to start the night before.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups dried black beans
- 9 cups water
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1½ teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¾ teaspoon salt
1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is tender, about 7 minutes. Add the beans and water, and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce to a simmer and skim any foam that has risen to the surface. Stir in the tomato paste, oregano, cumin, and salt. Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are very tender, about 1½ hours. Check occasionally to make sure there’s enough water to just cover the beans.
3. Transfer about one-fourth of the beans, with liquid, to a food processor or blender and puree. Then stir the puree back into the soup. (Or, if you have a hand blender, blend about one-fourth of the soup directly in the pot.)
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition per serving: 374 calories, 4.5g total fat (0.7g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 24g dietary fiber, 65g carbohydrate, 21g protein, 689mg sodium.
A good source of: fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium, thiamin.
Follow the directions aboveand then try one of these add-ons:
- Stir 1 cup of corn into the soup just before it comes off the heat. Serve topped with a spoonful of salsa, thinly sliced scallions, and baked tortilla chips.
- Stir in 1 or 2 minced chipotle peppers packed in adobo.
- Serve topped with chopped egg white, a dollop of reduced-fat sour cream, and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.
- Stir in 3 tablespoons of dry sherry and 3 chopped scallions just before serving.
- Serve topped with diced fresh tomato and avocado.