Cream of Black Bean Soup
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 lb. bacon,diced
4 large onions,chopped
3 large celery ribs with leaves,chopped
4 cloves of garlic,minced
1 lb. black beans (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
5 cans (14.5 fl. oz. each) chicken broth, about 8 3/4 cups
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sherry
Assorted condiments:cooked rice,chopped cilantro,salsa,shredded cheddar
sour cream,chopped scallions,chopped hard-boiled eggs,chopped green peppers
Heat oil in 5 qt dutch oven or heavy sauce pot over medium-high heat.
Add bacon, onions, and celery and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to
medium. Cook, stirring occaisionally,30-40 minutes until vegetables are
very soft and lightly browned. Add garlic.
Pick over beans,remove bad ones, rinse and drain. Add beans to pan with
cayenne, cumin, and broth;bring everything to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook until beans mash easily,about 3
hours. Skim fat from the soup and discard. Allow soup to cool slightly
and then puree small portions at a time in food processor or blender.
Soup must be cool enough not to crack the machines! Also, small batches
or it will blow the lid 'clean hoff'(my comment). Return soup to pan and
cook over medium-high until very hot. Remove from heat, stir in vinegar
and sherry. Serve with condiments (serves 10-12)
This soup is also amended well by using chipotle,moritas or other smoked
peppers. And this is also a dish where vinegar based chili concoctions
works well.There are many places to very the recipe and I have had a real
rich soup with the addition of half and half cream, about a quart, at the
final addition of vinegar and sherry.
The soup is great as it appears above in the recipe without any changes, and
gets even better the next day, and the next, in the fridge.
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