Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cheap and Easy,Sweet and Smoky

No the title of this post does not refer to me after a few drinks!

I had been craving a nice hearty soup lately. Maybe it is the biting cold or the whipping winds. Maybe I have just missed using my pretty lime green dutch oven. Whatever the reason I finally made some last night and fell in love with it. SO GOOD. The addition of molasses really gives it this subtle sweet flavor that pairs beautifully with the smoky beans and cumin, not to mention the delicious turkey bacon. What's more, it's incredibly cheap to make. All of the ingredients come in at just about $10 and it will feed one person for a week, two people for a couple of days.

Even though it's an easy recipe, it is not a super quick recipe - you will need about 3 hours, not including at least 6 hours to soak the beans. But it's well worth the time! If you have been in a black bean state of mind lately, I encourage you to give this recipe a whirl.

Cheap and Easy , Sweet and Smoky Black Bean Soup
adapted from this recipe
Serves 6

1 lb dried black beans, rinsed and soaked for 6 hrs or overnight
5 cups water
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped finely
1 large sweet potato, chopped into ½ inch chunks
1 carrot, chopped finely
1 green pepper, chopped
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili
1 tbsp molasses
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth/stock
1 lime
8 slices of cooked turkey bacon, crisp and crumbled

Drain the soaked beans and put into a large pot with water and baking soda and salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 90 minutes or until beans are tender.

In another large pot, cook onion and potato in olive oil over medium heat for about fifteen minutes/until lightly browned.

Then add garlic and cumin and chili and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

(Big ups to the international food aisle where I scored this large jar of minced garlic for $2!)

Add beans with liquid, broth, molasses, pepper and bacon to the large pot. Stir and bring to a boil.

Simmer for 20-30 minutes.

While this is happening, I cooked my turkey bacon:

8 minutes at 375 degrees in the oven makes them perfectly crisp and easy to crumble!


Anyway, once your soup has simmered, remove 4 cups of soup and place in a blender.

Puree and return carefully to the soup. Stir and add lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

You can serve it as is. I prefer a thicker black bean soup so I simmered it for about 15 more minutes uncovered.

And then served with a dollop of fat free sour cream.

It’s such a delicious sweet but smoky soup. And so easy!

*You could easily make this vegetarian by using Veggie Broth and omitting the bacon. But why would you want NOT to use bacon (even if it IS turkey bacon).

Don't forget to enter the Crane Notecard giveway below! I'm drawing the winner TOMORROW, Friday January 30th!


Nicky said...

Ooo gurl, you know I'm making this! Delish!

Jaime said...

i'm making this tomorrow to bring to work for lunch all week. i love me some black beans!

RED said...

This looks AMAZING! I might to give it a go soon! Thanks os much for sharing, and really, who wouldn't add the BACON?! That's just crazy-talk!