Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cool beans

We may be new to the world of the irregular paycheck self-employed, but we are not new to the love of rice and beans. I guess you can take the girl out of Mexico, but you can't take the love of Really Good Mexican Food out of the girl!

With the weather cooling off (does below 90 count?) I get to serve one of my family's favorites while keeping my cost-per-serving to pennies. Everyone loves this so far except Ruthie-4, who gets to try four beans. We're working on it.

I've already posted my favorite Chili Blanco recipe, and now here's my Black Bean Soup recipe. It makes enough for my family to eat twice - I freeze whatever's left over, flat in a ziplock bag, and it's just as good a few weeks later. Just heat and eat. What a deal!

Black Bean Soup

1 lb. dry black beans
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and chopped, OR
1 can chopped green chilies, in a pinch
1 stalk celery, chopped
fresh cilantro (I use a few sprigs)
Ham scraps or ham bone (really makes it good, but I have made
without and it's STILL good)
1 quart chicken stock
Salt & pepper to taste
Juice of one lemon (or for traditional Mexican, a key lime)

Sort, wash, and pre-soak beans as directed on package. Place all ingredients except
lemon in large stock pot and bring to boil. Simmer on low heat for about 2
hours or until beans are very soft (skim foam off frequently). When beans
are soft, remove the ham scraps or bone and any large pieces of vegetables that
might make preschoolers gag or that might stick between your teeth when you smile.

Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice. You can put in the blender or food processor in batches (thinning to your liking with additional chicken broth), or you can serve the beans whole in their broth. I like it both ways.

Serve in a bowl with rice, grated cheese, sour cream, salsa (I will have to get my
friend MARY's permission to post her awesome salsa recipe!! PLEASE???),
and of course, chips.



Marian said...

Thanks! I love black bean soup myself. Maybe I can convert my whole family with this recipe... no pressure. =)

Maureen said...

Thanks for sharing, I will give this a try. I can sympathize with your weather conditions. I am in Sunny Florida. We are still roasting down here! We are supposed to feel some "cooler" weather this weekend at a nice "low" of 86.

We took the kids to a pumpkin patch at a local church yesterday. It was weird taking pictures in the Fall scenery they had decorated the place with while beads of sweat run down your back, ugh!

Thanks for letting me lurk around your blog!

Julie said...

That sounds yummy! Is it pretty spicy? And could you substitute a can of black beans and skip the pre-soaking? Not that I'm lazy or anything. : )

It's getting to be soup weather here! Thanks!

Katherine@Raising Five said...

3cookieday - You could probably substitute canned black beans - I would rinse that thick goop off them first, though. Hey, they are ALMOST as cheap as dry beans, so I would feel just as thrifty using them. But I sure wouldn't cook them for two hours!!


Anonymous said...

I love this! As a fellow Texan, just down the road, you had me at black beans. But the fact that you can get two meals out of this yummy soup makes it even better. I'm going to doctor it up the next day with tortillas and chicken to make mini burritos and I feel certain the Littles will be none the wiser to my twofer meal! Thank you!!!

Kelli said...

I found a recipe online where you throw everything in the crockpot (including sorted, washed, unsoaked beans!) and let it cook all day. We had it earlier this week and it was TASTY. You can check it out at this link if interested (I hope I did the hyperlink thing right!). :) Cuban Black Bean Soup