Black Bean Soup
courtesy Tyler Florence of Food Network
1 pound dried black beans - I used 2 15 oz cans of pre-cooked black beans
4 cloves garlic - only two cloves of garlic for me!
2 onions, roughly chopped - I only used one because I thought more than that would be a little onion heavy for my tastes
1 green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro - I substituted dried cilantro
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 sprigs fresh oregano - subbed dry again
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 jalapeno, split
1 3/4 quarts low-sodium chicken stock (To make this completely veg, substitute this for vegetable stock)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crema: I didn't make the crema, but I thought I would post it anyway in case someone wanted to attempt it
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lime zest
Lime wedges, for garnish
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Pick through the beans and discard any debris - wash under cold running water.(skipped this step since I used canned beans) In a food processor, add garlic, onion, bell pepper, and cilantro.
Set a large pot over medium heat and add a 3-count of olive oil. Add the oregano and cumin. Add vegetable puree and saute until just fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Add beans, ham hock, jalapeno, and stock. Slightly cover and simmer for 2 hours until beans are tender. (Since my beans were already cooked and I didn't use the ham hock, I only simmered it for 20 minutes)
Using a blender or immersion blender, puree just enough of the beans and stock (about a third of the total pot) to thicken up the soup and bring everything together.(I don't own an immersion blender and since we're moving my real blender was packed away, so I just smashed some of the beans with the back of a large spoon. This thickened the soup, but not as much as blending them would have.) Season with salt and pepper and fold ham meat back into the soup.
Make the crema by combining sour cream and zest. Serve each soup with a spoonful of lime crema, a squeeze of lime and some fresh cilantro.
Pardon the ugly picture - It tastes much better than it looks!
My husband was a little concerned the soup would taste too onion-y because that's all he could smell when I was cooking. However, the soup had the perfect balance of all the flavors. Instead of garnishing ours with the crema recipe above, we used part-skim mozzarella. The only thing I might do differently next time is add some chili powder or red pepper flakes to kick it up a notch. It wasn't quite as spicy as I like my black bean soups. Another A+ for Tyler!
Make sure you visit Tyler Florence Fridays for a round up of other awesome Tyler recipes!