Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vegetarian Realness - Cuban Black Bean and Potato Soup

Sitting down to write this post, I just realized that it has been a fucking minute since Megan and I have cooked something together. With Fall weather comes Fall foods and there is nothing more Fall-like than soup in our minds. Tonight was SUPPOSED to be 75 degrees and I thought it would be too warm to make soup, but Nebraska tricked us again and brought us a chillier night so we decided to make Cuban Black Bean and Potato Soup, a recipe Meghan found in Vegetarian Times.

This recipe was extremely easy to make, which is definitely something we always look for when making recipes, especially on weeknights when we've put in a full day's work and are cranky and want our food RIGHT NOW. Take it from us - if you can chop up some veggies, you can make this recipe!

The ingredients you will need are: 
  • 1 medium onion, diced (1 ½ cups)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 6 cups cooked black beans, divided
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (2 ½ cups)
  • 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs. fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 bay leaf  (we actually did not use a bay leaf because we find it hard to pay $4.50 for a bottle of leaves)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Diced red onion and green bell pepper for garnish (we did not do this either)
Some (but not all) of the ingredients              

Like I said, if you can chop veggies, you can totally make this recipe. Next you will:
 
1. Sauté onion, bell peppers, and garlic in saucepan with a little water or vegetable broth over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until vegetables soften. Transfer to blender, and purée until smooth. Add 3 cups beans and 6 to 7 cups water; purée until mixture is consistency of thick soup. (NOTE: We probably only used 1-2 cups of water. The main reason is that I have a very small food processor and we had to do this in small batches. The next reason is after we had added the 1-2 cups the mixture already was at the consistency we preferred.)
Sautee realness
Puree-ing beans!
2. Return mixture to saucepan, and add remaining beans, potatoes, vinegar, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. Remove bay leaf. Garnish each serving with diced red onion and green bell pepper.

Potatoes, beans, and spices added!

And simmmer!
We also found that added a little Sriracha (aka Hot Cock) adds just a bit of flavor and kick to the soup which we felt was missing. If you didn't want to add hot sauce, I think another great option would be to buy some jalapeno and add that to your pepper/onion mixture and blend.


Overall, this was a really delicious and filling soup and could be used as a base for some much more elaborate soups. We could see trying out different variations in the future by adding corn or sweet potatoes into the mix. We are definitely trying to be more pro-active about MAKING food and are even discussing hosting a Friends-giving of sorts so stay tuned to witness more of our trials and tribulations in the cooking world!

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