Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Black Bean Soup with Fresh Salsa


So many recipes, so little time.

Today's dish is a yummy Black Bean Soup that is wonderful for meatless Fridays. We (dare I say?) enjoyed it on Good Friday. Even the children like this soup -- it's pureed, so it's really just great flavor they are getting (along with some good vitamins and fiber) and no yucky vegetable chunks. I serve it with a dollop of sour cream and a spoon of fresh salsa -- and we usually add salsa as we eat -- it really freshens up the tastes. You could enjoy it with corn tortillas chips or warm flour tortillas, but that was little too yummy for Good Friday. I served it with a loaf of Spanish bread. Besides being a great meatless dish, it's also a budget dish.

Black Bean Soup

2 cups dried black beans, washed and picked over
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
2 T. ground cumin
lrg. jalapeño chili, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
2 t. salt
6 cups vegetable stock

fresh salsa
sour cream

In a large saucepan, place black beans and
fill with water to cover beans with about 2 inches extra.
Let soak for 6 to 8 hours.
Drain soaking water.
Fill with fresh water to just cover beans.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until beans are soft (one to two hours).

When beans are soft, in another large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Cook onions until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Add garlic, cumin, salt and
jalapeño, cooking 3 to 4 minutes (do not burn garlic).
Stir in black beans and their liquid and mix well.
Pour in vegetable stock.
Turn heat up and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered,
stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes.
Transfer to blender in batches and puree until smooth.
Return to pot and heat through.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh salsa and sour cream.

Fresh Salsa
4 medium ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded and finely diced
1/4 c. red onion, finely diced
jalapeño chilies, stemmed, seeded and diced finely
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped
2 T. lime juice


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