Friday, March 21, 2014

Black Bean and Lime Soup


I love simple, easy soups! There's so many little extras you can add to this soup right when you serve it to make it your own. It's hard to find black beans in Newcastle, Australia where I live. I would suggest going to a specialty store if it's not  something you can get in your local grocery store. In Newcastle you can find dried black beans at Natural Tucker, Harris Farm, or Bibina. Bibina also has the option of canned beans but because they are a speciality import here so they cost a bit more. Canned beans are the super quick and easy option as you don't have to soak or pressure cook. 

I first had a version of this soup at Liberty Bakery, on Main Street in Vancouver, Canada when I was about 18. I never forgot it and would always go back when I was in Canada. I decided I wanted to try and replicate that soup and came up with this recipe after a few tries.

I recently made this soup as a surprise for a good friend of mine after reading on Facebook that she was having some hard nights with her baby and was completely exhausted. Soup is a great gift! Hits the spot every time. This is a yummy summer soup because it goes well with a cold beer! Preferably Mexican style.




Ingredients:

3 cups of dried black beans, soaked overnight and then boiled with 5 cups water, or you can pressure -cook dried beans for 30 minutes with 5 cups water. Rinse beans once cooked).
6-10 slices bacon (depending on the strength of flavour you prefer), coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon curry powder
5 cups chicken stock
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Heinz Ketchup (*has a less tangy flavour to it than most Australian tomato sauces)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1lime freshly juiced (approximately 1 tablespoon)
1/2 bunch of coriander (cilantro)
Small dollop of sour cream and grated cheddar cheese added to each serving

Optional extras to add on top of each serving:

Sliced avocado (as pictured)
Broken tortilla chips
Frank's Red Hot sauce (my personal, all time, favourite hot sauce. It's available here at Woolworth's and Bibina)
Your favourite bread, toasted (I love sourdough)!

Instructions:

1. In a large pot (5.6 quart/ 5.25 Litre), cook bacon in it's own fat, or add oil if it's lean bacon. Once bacon is crispy add the onion and stir  and cook until translucent, then add the garlic, cumin and curry powder. Stir for one minute.
2. Add 5 cups of stock with the softened and rinsed beans to pot, covering bacon, onion and garlic. Stir in can of tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and chill powder.
3. When soup comes to a boil turn down heat until soup is simmering. Simmer for 10 minutes and then removed from heat and let cool. When soup has cooled use stick blender and run through the soup until it looks like a puree. Add the lime and stir through. Add salt to taste if necessary.

4. Bring the soup back to high heat then serve in bowls. Add the remaining ingredients on top of each bowl of soup. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Option: Omit bacon, and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. 



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