Yesterday was the first time I tried to make a black bean soup. The results were excellent and the effort was almost nil.
Black Bean Soup
1 lb. dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 small carrots, grated
1/4 cup ground cumin seed
Grated sharp cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions
Sliced black olives
Salsa or hot sauce
In a large pot, cover beans with water, add salt, and bring to a boil. Cook covered for two minutes. Then, remove from heat and soak beans for 1 hour. (Alternately, soak beans overnight.) Pour off water and cover with cold water. Add onion, garlic, carrots, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook approximately three hours, stirring every so often and checking to be sure that enough water remains. Soup is done when beans are tender.
Serve with a variety of toppings: grated sharp cheddar cheese; sour cream, chopped green onions. sliced black olives, fresh cilantro, and salsa or hot sauce.
Yield: 6 servings. Freezes well.
I included carrots to make this soup a bit different from other black bean recipes, which often feature peppers or tomatoes—nightshade vegetables that I can’t eat. And even though it might seem as if there is not much to this soup, wait until you eat it accompanied by any combination of a variety of toppings. This is another recipe that can be customized to please your guests (and yourself, of course!). I loved the sour cream, cheese, green onions, olives, and cilantro that I added to my bowl. My vegetarian friend omitted the sour cream and ate his nightshade veggies in the form of Tabasco sauce. We were both happy.
This soup is hearty, tasty, healthy, easy, inexpensive, and even vegan. Who says gluten-free cooking can’t be wonderful?