Friday, October 21, 2011

Quick and Easy Black Bean Soup – Something from Almost Nothing

This black bean soup saved me during a recent attack of, “Oh my God, there is nothing in kitchen to cook with!” Even though it sometimes seems that way, there's rarely, literally nothing to cook with. I quickly found a few slices of bacon, a couple cans of beans, and an onion, and with the help of a spicy lime and green onion relish, turned it into a very decent bowl of soup.

It got me thinking about all those long shelf life, must-have pantry and fridge staples you can count on to produce a meal when lacking supplies. My short list is olive oil, beans, pasta, bacon, Parmigiano-Reggiano, eggs, tomato sauce, anchovies, salami, capers, garlic, onions, potatoes, and fresh citrus. As long as those things are close by, I can still look forward to a great meal no matter how sparse the rest of the provisions.

By the way, this will work with any smashable bean, and rumor has it that a handful of sausage in place of the bacon is a great variation. With wet, chillier days ahead, I think you’ll have occasion to give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 Servings:
6 slices bacon
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth or water
2 cans black beans, rinsed, plus 1 can of water
pinch dried oregano
pinch cayenne
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
salt and pepper to taste
For the relish (note – I only made a little bit in the video. This is enough for 4 servings):
1/3 cup minced green onion
2 tsp crushed or minced red chilies
juice of one lime
green onions to garnish
sour cream to garnish

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