Meatless Monday: Black Bean Soup & Mini Corn Muffins

Monday, February 7, 2011

This recipe is from Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons by Nava Atlas.  In addition to her many vegetarian cookbooks, Nava Atlas also has a great website called VegKitchen

Black Bean Soup
6 to 8 Servings
An American classic - robust and brimming with complex flavors. Perfect for cold days spent indoors, this soup is great served with fresh cornbread and a crisp green salad.

1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and sorted (or four 15oz. cans)
1 cup chopped onion
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large celery stalks, diced
2 or 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup dry red wine or sherry, optional
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon light sour cream
sprinkle with chili powder

Rinse and sort the beans, discarding withered ones and checking carefully for small stones. Soak the beans overnight in a large pot with plenty of water, covered. Or cover with water, bring to a boil, then let stand off the heat for an hour for a shortcut version of pre-soaking. In either case, drain the beans after soaking, and rinse. (Start here and skip the first hour of simmering, if you are using canned beans.) Place in a soup pot with fresh water in a ratio of approximately 3 parts water to 1 part beans. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer steadily for 1 hour. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, seasoning mix, nutmeg, and optional wine. Simmer for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are soft. Scoop out about 1 1/2 cups of the beans with a slotted spoon, avoiding as much as possible scooping out the other vegetables. Set aside. Discard the bay leaves and transfer the solid ingredients, in batches, to a food processor or blender. Use about 1/4 cup cooking liquid per batch. Process until smoothly pureed, (discard the rest of the cooking liquid) then return the puree to the soup pot along with the reserved beans. Season with salt and pepper and return to low heat for 15 minutes. I like to use garlic salt, chili pepper and Tabasco to spice mine up just little bit more! Just before serving, heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the sliced onion and saute over medium heat until golden brown. Garnish each serving with some of the sautéed onion, 2 lemon slices, and some chopped parsley. This soup keeps very well for several days, and the flavor improves as it stands.

Per serving of soup (1/8 of the pot without garnish):
Calories: 217, Total fat: 2 g, Protein: 10 g, Fiber: 12 g, Carbohydrate: 36 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 25 mg

Serve with a nice garden salad and mini corn muffins.  If you have a good recipe, I guess you could make these from scratch.  I usually just use the little boxes of corn muffin mix.  Just blend the mix with water and bake . .  so easy.  Do read the ingredients on any mix you might buy though as some box mixes including Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix contain animal shortening or lard, which you will definitely want to avoid on Meatless Monday!  If you try Meatless Monday and/or this recipe, please leave me a comment telling me all about it!

I'm linking to:
Meatless Monday Recipe Round Up


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