Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Black Bean Soup with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream

Bon Appétit March 1997 and tested in Alice Wootton's Kitchen

This is a great soup to have in your repertoire. The dried black beans can be found in the bulk section of the Lost River Market & Deli. To make this soup vegetarian, just replace the bacon with some olive oil and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. This soup freezes well.
This would be a great soup to make on a cold winter day. You might consider doubling the recipe since it does take awhile to make, but your efforts will be worth it!

Serves 8
16-ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) dried black beans
6 bacon slices, chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped carrots
3/4 cup finely chopped leeks
10 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cup (packed) chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup (packed) chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 jalapeño chili, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Additional chopped fresh cilantro
Additional chopped tomato

Place beans in large bowl. Add enough water to cover by 3 inches. Let stand overnight. Drain well.
Cook bacon in heavy large pot over medium heat until brown but still soft, about 4 minutes. Add celery, onion, carrots and leeks and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add beans, chicken broth, tomato, 1/2 cup cilantro, parsley, garlic, jalapeño, vinegar, cumin and coriander. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer soup until beans are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.
Working in batches, transfer soup to blender and process until slightly chunky puree forms. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)
Mix sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice and 1/2 cup cilantro in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Place dollop of sour cream mixture atop soup. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro and chopped tomato.

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