Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Black bean soup and corn muffins 

I've had a hankering for some black bean soup recently. This is odd, because I don't think I've ever eaten black bean soup, let alone make it.

So I looked up a recipe on foodtv.com. I knew that it was a good recipe, because the first ingredient was 10 STRIPS OF BACON. Excellent.

The recipe is here, but I'm going to post it here, because foodtv sometimes takes down their recipes at random. Also, since I can't leave well enough alone, I made some changes based on what I had available, and because dammit, I like tinkering. My changes are in blue.

10 slices bacon, finely chopped (I only had 7 slices. you can probably use less if the thought of that much bacon horrifies you)
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed (I only had 3 cans. trust me, this is enough)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch cilantro (I'm not a big cilantro fan, so I used parsley from my garden)
juice of 1/2 lime
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish (I was out of these)
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheddar, for garnish

Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and place it over medium heat. Cook until it starts to give up its fat, about 4 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 1 minute. Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, and chili powder. Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the soup is bubbling gently and cook 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

I like my soups creamy. So at this point, I scooped 3 or 4 cups of soup out and poured it into the blender. I blended it smooth, then added it back to the soup pot.

Meanwhile, pick off all the thick stems from the cilantro. Wash it and shake dry. Chop the cilantro coarsely and stir it into the soup when it has been simmering 10 minutes. cook until the soup is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Serve with the garnishes and corn muffins.

corn muffins

These are easy. Buy a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix. Add the egg, BUT instead of using milk, like the box calls for, pour in 2/3 can creamed corn. This makes the muffins thicker and moister. I'm not a fan of dried out corn bread. You'll probably have to cook the muffins for a few minutes longer. Keep an eye on them, when they start to get brown on the top, they're done!