Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Packing, Sewing, and Black Bean Soup! 


This week has been rather hectic. I'm getting ready to move down to Austin, to start graduate school and the next phase of this "life" thing. So packing, packing, packing! And finishing up a few sewing projects, helping my mom decorate her new office, and then a little more packing with some much needed yoga thrown in. Needless to say, I haven't been in the kitchen quite as much as usual, due to the fact that my days seem to melt away before I have time to notice. However, Monday night, I decided that Tuesday I would cook! I'd been craving black bean soup, so I put some dry black beans to soak overnight in preparation for the next day. I made this Tuesday afternoon when I needed a break from sorting. packing and cleaning, then let it sit for a few hours until dinner. Delicious!

This isn't an original recipe, it's one that I found while staring starry-eyed at my favorite blog search- Taste Spotting. The recipe comes from Vega-Licious, and I've made it several times now. It's quickly become my favorite black bean soup recipe -it's so comforting. If you're pining away for the perfect black bean soup (and of course you are), seriously give this one a try. It's thick, and savory and cumin-y (yep, that is now a word). And, as usual it's even better the next day! The full recipe makes a LOT of soup, so I usually cut it in half which still makes about 8 + servings. Top it with some crushed baked tortilla chips, avocado and fresh tomatoes. So good.

Here is the link to the recipe: Vega-Licious Vegan Black Bean Soup (you have to scroll down a bit as this takes you to all of her soup recipes).

Of course, I don't follow the directions to the letter- because what fun would that be? Here are the things I change.
  • As I mentioned before, I usually cut the recipe in half, so I only use 2 cups of dried black beans.
  • I don't add the cayenne pepper, but use Mrs. Dash Chipotle spice blend instead (regular chipotle chili pepper would be delicious as well), because it provides less heat but a little more smokey chili flavor.
  • Instead of plain old crushed tomatoes, I use fire roasted diced tomatoes instead and just mash them up in the soup.
  • And I'm not always a huge cilantro fan, so to still get some of that brightness at the end of the cooking process, I add the juice of one or two limes during the last 5 minutes or so of cooking. Mmmmm mmmm good!  
Black Bean Soup with a side of pear :)