Saturday, December 11, 2010

Corn and Black Bean Soup

Soup is the perfect end to a cold damp winter day.  It’s also easy to make, inexpensive and low calorie.  Curling up with a big bowl of hot corn and black bean soup, after a day of yard work, warms me right up.
I started cooking the beans in the morning, adding a little water now and then, while I raked leaves in the yard and trimmed the strawberry plants.  You could make this soup with canned beans but I’m concerned about the BPA in the can lining leaching into the beans so I cook my own.  I cooked more black beans than I needed for the soup and froze the extra for another meal.
It’s the spices that make or break a bowl of black bean soup.  Starting from the top and moving clockwise, I used a teaspoon of my home grown coriander which I later ground up.  Then I added a teaspoon of oregano, a teaspoon of paprika, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of cumin and a teaspoon of  and chili powder.  You could use a smoky paprika for extra flavor.

I topped each bowl with a tablespoon of non dairy sour cream, and a tablespoon of fresh salsa and a little cilantro.  I would have added chopped avocado too, if I’d had some.

Corn and Black Bean Soup
Serves 4 - Use organic ingredients whenever possible
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups vegetable broth
5 cups cooked black beans
1 cup corn (fresh or frozen will work)
Fresh salsa, non dairy sour cream, cilantro and avocado to garnish
Heat the oil in a large pot.
Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes on a medium low heat.
Add the seasonings, stir, and cook for a minute.
Add the broth and two cups of the beans and stir.
Using a submersion blender, puree everything.  
(if you don’t have a submersion blender, you can use a food processor or blender)
Add the remaining 3 cups of beans and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the corn, stir and continue to simmer for 5 minutes more.
Serve immediately topped with sour cream, fresh salsa, chopped avocado and cilantro.

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