Friday, January 02, 2009

Zesty Black Bean Soup

So, I have this idea for 2009... I want to try more new things. And, what better resource than other lifestyle blogs? Topics ranging from spirits, wine & cocktails to travel, fashion, restaurants, home cooking, spirituality, exercise, and more, will be covered and the inspiring blog will be linked to.

While on Twitter, today, I saw that The Hungry Mouse had posted a recipe for Black Bean Soup with Orange and Cilantro. Kismet was at work as I had just soaked dried black beans overnight with the idea of making a soup. (Under 60 degrees is chilly for us Angelenos!) I made some adjustments to her recipe to make it work for our tastes / dietary needs and served it to Jason as the first course of a three course dinner:

Zesty Black Bean Soup
by The Liquid Muse, inspired by The Hungry Mouse

1/2 lb. dried black beans

2 chicken andouille sausages, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
15 baby carrots, diced

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from the tree in my backyard)

2 heaping tablespoons ground New Mexico red chili powder

4 cloves garlic, diced

2 cups chicken broth

5 cups water

1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 orange, juice + zest

1 tablespoon garlic salt
splash of red wine

Soak dried beans overnight. Drain, rinse, refresh water. Make soup base following these steps:
1) saute onions, garlic and sausages on high heat
2) add carrots, lower heat

3) allow carrots to brown slightly and onions to become translucent. Add orange juice and red wine to deglaze, stir. 4) add garlic powder, chili powder, stir.

5) strain beans, add to pot, stir.

6) add chicken broth and water, stir, bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours
7) add 3 tablespoons cilantro, orange zest as well as juice from orange

8) simmer for another half hour, add more water if necessary

Ladle into bowls, top with grated parmesan cheese and cilantro. Serve as a first course or a main dish.

I served it as a first course followed by a second course of baked salmon (marinated in lemon juice, a splash of soy sauce, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of red chili). We paired the meal with Estancia Pinot Noir and had chocolate cake for dessert.

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