On Cooking: Better to make black bean soup

The rewards are much greater if you make your own soup from scratch, says Maple Ridge chef.

On Cooking  Chef Dez

On Cooking Chef Dez

Here we are in January. This is the time of year that is filled with heathy resolutions, but because of the cold temperatures and still limited daylight hours, we also yearn for comfort food.

Allow me to help you satisfy both in a single recipe.

During my trips to the grocery store, I always see people stocking up on canned soups.

Although I do realize that making a soup from scratch requires more effort that a few turns of a can opener, the rewards are much greater.

Not only are you in control of your ingredients, but the flavour and texture can be so much better.

This recipe is the perfect solution because the cut sizes don’t matter since the soup is pureed.

Less cutting means less effort on your part.

There is an abundance of fresh vegetables in this soup, and black beans are a great source of protein and dietary fiber, among other nutritional aspects.

Yes, I do realize that the first ingredient is bacon, but this can easily be replaced with a bit of coconut oil or other healthy cooking oil.

However, if you feel that your diet regimen can handle some bacon in moderation, this is less than a third of a pound of bacon for 10 cups of soup.

This recipe can also be found on page 55 of my latest cookbook, The Best In Your Kitchen, available from my website or worldwide through Amazon.

Happy cooking.

 

– Chef Dez is a chef, writer and host.

 

Black bean soup

This recipe makes approximately 10 cups:

• 125g bacon slices, cut into smaller pieces;

• 1 small onion, chopped;

• 1 green bell pepper, chopped;

•1 large carrot, chopped;

•1 celery stalk, chopped;

• 2 jalapenos, chopped – seeds and membrane removed for mild;

•3  to 4 garlic cloves, chopped;

• 2 – 540ml cans of black beans, drained and rinsed;

• 3 to 4 cups chicken stock;

• 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (reserve some for garnish);

• 1 medium tomato, chopped;

• 2 tsp ground cumin;

• 1/2 cup jarred salsa of your choice, salt and pepper to taste;

• 1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish, optional.

 

1. Add the bacon pieces to a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat and cook until fat has been rendered from the bacon.

Cooked but not necessarily crisp, stirring occasionally.

2. Turn the heat down to medium and add the diced onions, green peppers, carrots, celery, jalapenos, garlic, and some salt and pepper to the bacon and bacon fat.

Cover and cook until the vegetables are mostly soft, approximately five to seven minutes.

3. Add the black beans and three cups of the chicken stock.

4. Add the cilantro, tomatoes, cumin, and salsa.

Puree with a hand blender until smooth.

Use the remaining one cup of chicken stock to thin the soup to your desired consistency while pureeing.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Heat to desired temperature and serve each bowl garnished with an optional dollop of sour cream and or a sprig of cilantro.

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