Southwestern Creamy Pureed Black Bean Soup
This recipe was adapted from my basic black bean soup. I made this very spicy to suit my own taste. If it's too hot for you, use less peppers or use some milder ones. For the cocoa, which really deepens the flavors, I use Hershey's pure unsweetened dark cocoa. This is great for lunch on a cold winter day (it will warm you up in more ways than one!). Add a few hot, buttered whole grain flour tortillas and a big mug or two of hot spiked (I like Meyer's dark rum) dark cocoa and the winter blues will disappear. It is also an excellent first course for dinner with tortillas and a tequila cocktail or icy cold dark beer.
- 1/2 cup coarse chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup coarse chopped yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons nut or other oil
- 8 minced garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon chipolte powder
- 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 cup coarse chopped celery
- 1/2 cup coarse chopped carrot
- 1 cup coarse chopped Anaheim chili peppers
- 3 minced red jalapeno peppers
- 2 minced poblao peppers
- 2 minced habanero peppers
- 6 to 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 5 cups cooked dry black beans
- 2 pounds coarse chopped plum tomatoes
- 1-1/2 pounds coarse chopped tomatillos
- 1/2 cup coarse chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup coarse chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
- 3 cups heavy cream or half and half
- Coarse kosher or sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Thin avocado slices
- Chopped cilantro
- Shredded Monterey jack cheese
- Sour cream or plain yogurt
- Crumbled tortilla chips
Level of difficulty Average
Cost Average budget
Sauté onions in oil in a large (8 quart or larger) stock pot or Dutch oven on medium heat til softened, about 5 minutes, stir occasionally. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add chili powder, chipolte powder, cocoa, cumin, carrots, celery, and peppers, cook 5 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
Add 6 cups broth (add more if necessary), beans, tomatoes and tomatillos, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Add fresh
herbs and cream, stir well and heat 2 minutes longer. Salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Puree to desired constincy (I like it with a bit of texture) in batches in a blender or in the pan with an immersion blender. Serve warm or hot with garnishes on the side.
I like to float 4 or 5 avocado slices on top with a dollop of yogurt in center, then sprinkle with some tortilla chips, cheese and cilantro.
Keep leftovers up to 3 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer (texture will change somewhat, but it's still great. It also cans up nicely if you are in to that. (I made it three times one weekend and ended up with 8 quarts and 6 pints canned and 6 quarts frozen, and I ate it 4 times).
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Chef Tips and Tricks
These baked Cheesy Eggplant Hedgehogs are totally adorable, tasty and really easy to make!
- 3 large eggplants
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped basil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4 cup shredded cheese
- Mix the olive oil, chopped basil, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Carefully slice the eggplant on it's side in a cross-hatch pattern, without cutting all the way through.
- Lay the eggplants inside an oven-safe baking tray.
- Pour the oil mixture over the eggplants, taking care to pour between the slices.
- Stuff the gaps in the eggplant with shredded cheese.
- Cook in the oven at 355°F for 45 minutes, until the flesh is cooked and the cheese totally melted.
- Serve and enjoy!
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