I was introduced to black bean soup by a born and bred vegetarian, who didn’t know how to cook anything. My college room mate and I shared a house with 2 others. Jessica was from the big city. Her family never ate meat on principle and so she grew up never eating it either.
One day we made an agreement one night. If she ate a dish I made, I would eat she made. “How would I know, if we never tried” she said. So we set a date on the calendar and planned a big dinner.
The day came and we set the rickety old 1950’s chrome table for 4 with mismatch goodwill plates. We took turns in the tiny kitchen of our outrageously overpriced rooming house. Chopping and stirring away. Jessica had a hand written copy of a recipe she was reading asking me, “what does sauté mean” and then “what is deglaze…” but she refused to tell me what the dish was as it was a surprise. All she said was it was a family recipe.
When the time came to eat we had a banquet. I had made friends with a fish monger and he hooked me up with the catch of the day. I thought fish might be a good “gateway meat”. Freshly caught and grilled cedar plank salmon with maple glaze. A lovely mixed Salad from another housemate, Jessica’s black bean soup, and pie for dessert from young man downstairs.
Jessica’s black bean soup was a riot though. If you have ever seen black bean soup, it isnt the prettiest thing. Boy did we give her a hard time teasing her because of her lack of cooking ability, “guys common …just try it…” she would say.
The results were amazing- considering she never cooks. It was delicious creamy and slight spice that gives you a Mexican flare. She served it with a little diced tomato, fresh avocado, (the avocado dented the pocket book as we were so rural that anything outside the ordinary was a luxury at the store) and big old bag of corn chips.
Years later walking though the grocery I saw spicy black bean soup in cartons on the shelf I grabbed one to reminisce of that time. The boxed stuff was more like black wallpaper paste then soup. I read up in various cook books and did vegan research and now have a recipe that tastes just a good as Jessica’s homemade version.
Jessica’s Black bean soup- orig printed Cuisine at home
- 4 cans black beans (15oz each)
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 diced white onion
- 2 TBS garlic minced
- 1 TBS smoked paprika
- 1.5 tsp cumin ground
- 1.5 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp coriander ground
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- Pinch of salt pepper
- 1 can diced tomatoes in juice
- Simmer beans, bay and broth for 20 to 30 min
- Remove bay and half of the bean broth mix and set aside.
- Purée remaining bean broth until smooth.
- Return reserved beans back to pot on low heat
- Sauté onion garlic and seasoning until soft
- Deglaze with diced tomatoes. Slightly mash diced tomatoes with fork.
- Add tomato mix to soup.
Serve with salsa, cold drizzle of cashew cream , avocado, and corn chips