Sunday, May 2, 2010

Black Bean Soup

I am trying new cooked food recipes out for awhile. My husband wants a break from raw so I am trying to accommodate him. We were never 100% raw anyway. He also told me he did not want any more black beans for awhile which is a problem because I have a lot of them in my cabinet and they are a healthy protein & phytochemical source so I will not waste them. My challenge was to find a recipe to use them in that would be new to us and yummy. I found it so I am going to share it. It is from a recipe book by Ann Gentry who owns and operates one of my favorite restaurants in Santa Monica, Ca. Real Food Daily and her cookbook is The Real Food Daily cookbook. The recipe is for Black Bean soup with Jalapeno creme. I used the basic recipe but changed a few things to accommodate what ingredients I had in my kitchen. I will give both versions to you. This is a very filling meal.

2 cups dried black beans..rinsed
1 (2 to 3 inch) piece of Kombu (seaweed)
6 cups vegetable stock or water
1 bay leaf
2 tsp sea salt
2 tbs. olive oil (I used grapeseed oil)
2 onions finely chopped (I used half of 1 red onion)
5 carrots finely chopped (I used 1 large juice carrot)
5 stalks of celery chopped (I used 2)
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tbs. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (I did not measure or chop mine)
Place the beans & kombu in a large pot adding enough water to cover them & let soak overnight.
I soaked my beans for 2 days until they sprouted. Rinse beans saving the kombu & return to the pot along with the kombu. Add the veggie stock and bay leaf and simmer for 1 hour until the beans are tender. Discard the kombu & add sea salt. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the carrots,celery,onions & garlic. Saute for 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Stir in the tomatoes & spices. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the tomato mixture to the pot with the beans and simmer for 15 minutes until vegetables are very tender. Transfer this mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot and add more salt if desired as well as the cilantro. I added the cilantro when I served it. This soup will keep for 2 days when covered and refrigerated. Kombu is added in order to make the beans more easily digestible.

jalapeno lime creme sauce

2 roasted jalapeno peppers (I used 1 unroasted & deseeded)
3/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup plain soy milk (I used rice milk)
1 tsp. grated lime zest (I used lemon)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (I used lemon)
1 tbs. canola oil (I used grapeseed oil)
3/4 tsp. sea salt

Blend this all together in a mini food processor. It will keep for 2 days covered in the fridge. If you like it hot leave some of the seeds on the jalapeno.

Top your black bean soup with the jalapeno creme sauce and cilantro leaves. Serve & enjoy! I served it with blue corn taco shells used like chips. Another idea is to toast some corn tortillas and cut them into strips to top it all off. Of course as with all foods in my house these are organic ingredients.

An interesting side note....Today we visited a big cat rescue in Louisberg,KS. and the lady giving us the tour was answering questions about how the animals were fed,how much meat they ate each day and where the meat comes from because this place runs on donations. She told us that the cats prefer the meat of wild game like deer to meat that comes to them from stores. This is understandable but she also said that the wild meat is easy for them to digest but the other brought in meats are not and give the cats diharria. Now I ask you if that is the case for these big cats whose short digestive track is made to handle meat and excrete it fast then what do you think that means for all of the humans eating this meat from factory farms. Something to ponder!

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