Monday, January 4, 2010

Black Bean Soup w/Salsa Cream

It's frigid here in VA and as such, my tastes run toward soul-warming soups and chilis.

Recently picked up the Williams Sonoma Soups cookbook. So far, I've tried two recipes and have plans for about 10 more. I've been pleased with the roasted veggie soup (which I'm still feasting on courtesy of my freezer) and even more impressed with my recent endeavor- black bean soup.

The texture is velvety & rich while being exponentially good for you as well as filling. Great dish to start the new year out right with in case your resolution is to be more health conscious. Not to mention, it just plain tastes good! Just make sure to knock back a few beano before ingesting ;)

I adjusted this recipe to be used in a slow cooker for more convenient preparation on a week night.

Black Bean Soup with Salsa Cream
adapted from WS Soups cookbook

2 c. dried black beans
8 c. water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 jalepenos, " "
3-4 cloves garlic, fincely minced
1 small red pepper, finely chopped
1 small ham hock
1 tspn dried oregano
1 tspn dried coriander (I toasted and ground whole)
1 tspn dried cumin
1/2 tspn chile powder (I used ancho)
Texas Pete, to taste
Salt & Pepper, to taste (I used 1 - 1 1/2 tspn salt at the end)
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Salsa Cream-
1/2 c. sour cream (I use lite)
2 tbsp salsa
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
salt & pepper to taste

Pick through beans for stones etc. Soak beans in a large bowl filled with water overnite.

Place ham hock, beans and water in slow cooker set to High.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium-low heat. Sweat onions, garlic and jalepeno for approx. 5 minutes. Add dried spices/herbs to allow their flavors to open up, as wll as red pepper cooking approx. 3 minutes with onion mixture. Add to crock pot.

Cook on high setting in crockpot for 7-8 hours or until beans are tender. Remove ham hock. Place 2 cups of bean mixture in blender, remove middle from blender top and cover w/a dish towel to vent the heat, puree. Pour into separate bowl and set aside. Repeat until entire batch is pureed (or not, depending on whether you want a pureed texture or a chunkier texture). Pour the bowl of pureed soup back into crockpot, hit with Texas Pete/salt & pepper to taste as well as lime juice. Adjust slow cooker settings to Warm.

Meanwhile, prepare salsa cream right before serving soup.
Serve each portion of soup w/a dollop.


gaga said...

I thought that was hot chocolate at first! But black bean soup is definitely a winner too. Looks tasty!

bellalately said...

:) Then my job is done, gaga- I was trying to be a little cheeky w/the presentation.