Secret Recipe Club: Easy black bean soup cooked in the slow cooker! Eliminate the Chipotle Cream drizzle to veganize.
I was hit with flu this week with all its fever, muscle aches, and generally feeling like roadkill regalia. In one short week I went from feeling a little smug for how healthy I’ve been this season to being thankful my will is up to date.
It’s hard to rally interest in cooking when you have a fever unless it’s to fry an egg on your forehead while you remain in bed. And I was done well before yesterday when I dined on my third meal in a row of Lipton chicken noodle soup out of a box (reminder: I’m a wimpy vegetarian and fall into childhood comfort patterns under stress). Earlier in the week I did (marginally) better. I raided the freezer and scored a couple of jars of lentil stew which proved to be too heavy on my stomach and some toaster waffles (which were at least whole wheat with flax meal). In truth, most meals have been a variation of eggs and toast. It may be time to renew my pleas to my husband for us to buy a few chickens.
Unfortunately the flu slammed Carnivorous Maximus too, so we’ve got a bit of a hospital going here. And since his interest in cooking is limited at the best of times (although he does scramble a mean egg), by Sunday morning, it was time to rally. Or at least to cook something healthy and fresh. And my assigned blog this month for the Secret Recipe Club, Lynseylous, had the perfect solution.
But first at little about SRC and Lynseylous. Members of SRC are assigned another member’s blog each month. We pick any recipe from that blogger’s site, make it, and write about it. Who has who is a secret until Reveal Day. It’s been fun to find new vegetarian dinners that I can adjust for Carnivorous Maximus, and I love seeing which recipe on my site draws someone to the kitchen to pull on an apron.
Lynsey, the power behind the Lynseylous blog, is a recent stay-at-home mom, and totally loves it. She started her blog in 2008, and it’s truly a wealthy of fabulous recipes and photos ranging from baking to cooking. I created a short list of recipes I wanted to try a couple of weeks ago, including Homemade Graham Crackers, Flourless Black Bean Brownies, and Sour Cream Muffins with Poppy Seed Streusel. I was all set to make her Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce when I got sick. After that I was really looking for something I could throw together and go back to bed. I went back to her lovely site, and her Slow Cooker Black Bean Ragout leapt off the screen, and absolutely hit the spot. Kismet.
If you check out Lynsey’s recipe and then mine, the first thing you’ll notice is that hers is a ragout thick enough to spoon onto some fabulous looking garlic toasts. But I used Cassoulets USA Black Turtle Beans which are, as it happens, smaller. So much smaller, that the ragout became a soup. Next time, if I’m using the Turtle variety, I’ll double up. Either way, this is one fabulous vegetarian meal.
Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
This recipe is based on Slow Cooker Black Bean Ragout with Garlic Toasts on the lynseylous blog, where it was adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. As a note, this vegetarian soup is easily made vegan by eliminating the Chipotle Cream drizzle.
- 1 1/4 cups dried black beans, rinsed if not previously soaked (I've used Cassoulets Black Turtle Beans and standard black beans with equal success)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup diced yellow onion (1/2 medium onion)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic ( 3 - 4 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (I used Pimenton de la Vera)
- 1 dried chile (I used a dried chipotle chile)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Quick drizzle of sriracha sauce (optional)
- 1/4 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
- 3/4 teaspoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- two pinches of kosher salt
- Finely chopped red onion, green onion, cilantro and/or lime wedge
- Rinse the beans and sort through them to pull out any stones or damaged beans. Place them in a heavy pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes and remove from the heat for 10 minutes.
- Strain the beans and combine with the hot vegetable broth in a slow cooker. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, dried chile, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on high for a few hours until the beans are tender. Lynsey's recipe called for 3 - 4 hours of cooking on high, and 6 - 8 hours on low. I cooked mine for 5 hours on high and my beans were perfect. Be aware there can be a lot of variability on cooking times depending on how old your dried beans are.
- Add the lime juice, and if you like a touch of heat to your black bean soup, add a quick hit of sriracha. Adjust seasonings if needed.
- Partially puree the soup using an immersible blender.
- Mix together the sour cream and chipotle peppers in adobe in a small bowl. Add a little salt to taste. I pour mine into a squeeze bottle - so easy for adding a drizzle just before serving along with a couple of garnishes.