Sometimes, necessity is truly the mother of invention. Most of you might think it is usually the case but I have had so many necessary but uninspiring phases in life that I figured in my case God made that statement optional !!! However, however my darlings, it is not a lost cause yet, as I discover from time to time. The latest was a hungry weeknight when I was too tired to cook, too hungry to sleep, too fussy to eat fruits or cereal for dinner, too lazy to grocery shop, too frugal to order takeaway and too worried that I have been skipping protein for stupid fats since the last couple of days. So I raided my pantry/fridge, literally, and found that the only substantial stuff that I had which could make me a meal were a can of black beans, avocado and some frozen onions+peppers mix. Thus began my attempt to create my own black bean soup with my focus only on having something warm, easy and filling to eat on a cold night. The last thing on my mind was a gourmet taste – I mean a desperately hungry female working on weeknight dinner cant be too fussy, can she ????? But then, as I always say, life happens when you least expect it to. I came up with the best black bean soup I ever tasted. Believe me, so enamored was I by the taste that I actually wrote down the recipe before I got too busy eating the delicious thing and forgot what went into it. If only all my carefully planned and executed efforts would pay off as handsomely, I could by now be delivering lectures on success at Harvard !!!!!!!!!!
Anyway, coming back to the recipe, I used frozen onions and peppers since that is all I had. But I remade it with fresh veggies later on and you can’t beat it. Of course it takes a little more effort, claning and chopping, but hey, that’s gourmet steps you are taking :). You can dish it up with sour cream or avocado or both, but I would rather give the cream a miss, so creamy is the soup naturally. So here is an outstanding creation by moi, born in a most unoutstanding fashion 😀
Serves 2 as entrees
16 Oz canned black beans
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 medium to large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground roasted cumin powder
1 tsp paprika, if you want some kick
Salt to taste
3/4 cup water/vegetable stock
2 tbsp chopped cilantro, optional but preferable
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 ripe avocado, sliced (optional but recommended)
1. In a sauce pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté till golden, 1-2 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook for another minute. Now add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-5 minutes.
2. Stir in cumin, paprika and salt and cook for another minute.
3. Add drained beans and 3/4 cup of water/stock.
4. Bring soup to a boil, and then lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 odd minutes, until beans are tender.
5. Turn the heat off and take the pan away from the heat source. Using a hand blender, coarsely puree the soup in the pan itself. The consistency and texture can be as per your choice though I like to puree it a little coarse.
6. Stir in cilantro and lime juice, top with diced avocados and you are ready to go.
7. Serve with salsa, Mexican rice and grilled veggies, if you like.