Thursday, October 15, 2009
"Necessity's" Black Bean Soup with Corn Tortilla (Cleanse-Friendly . . . but don't let that stop you)
I know this woman named Necessity. She has an accomplished and successful daughter you may have heard of. She is the busiest woman I know, but she is also brilliant, warm and always has the best advice. As archetypal as a goddess and as familiar as your own mother, Necessity knows what you need.
Necessity lives in my kitchen, and she is always there (though sometimes she is silent, or I'm not really listening). She's really good at putting things in their place, in their proper proportion with everything else swirling in the soup. And, boy, does she know soup! She's especially gifted in the craft of "What's in the fridge?"-style soups and other concoctions.
Yesterday, in the middle of all my madness, it occurred to me that I needed to cook enough meals for myself to bring for lunch and to eat after work. Necessity was right there, telling me to cook the brussel sprouts (sautéed with garlic) and the kale (crisped in the oven with a little salt) and to make a black bean soup. Even though I didn't have all the ingredients for the Cuban black bean soup that I like (see Daisy Martinez's book, Daisy Cooks: Latin Flavors that will Rock Your World), I followed the advice of Necessity and invented -- dare I say it -- a black bean soup that was even better than the "authentic" recipes I've followed in the past.
"Necessity's" Black Bean Soup with Corn Tortilla
1 tbs. coconut oil
1 small onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano hot pepper, or hot pepper of your choice, seeded and finely chopped
1 large tomato, preferably fresh from your garden!
1 can. black beans, undrained (or if you really want to drain them, increase the vegetable stock)
1 cup (or more) of vegetable stock
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
Bragg's Amino Acids to taste (or salt and black pepper for the un-cleansers)
2-4 soft corn tortillas, torn into quarters
1 tbs. coarsely chopped cilantro
* In a soup pot, Saute up the onion, garlic and pepper in the oil over medium heat.
* Add the tomato and cook it down until it melts.
* Add the beans and stock. Bring to a boil.
* Add the corn and splash of Bragg's. Cook for at least 20 minutes over low heat. The longer the better.
* Remove 1/3 of the soup to a blender and liquefy. Return to the soup and stir.
* When you want to serve, raise the heat to boiling and add the tortilla. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the tortilla takes on a pasta-like texture.
* Garnish with cilantro.
I ate this soup tonight, and it was so wonderful. So warm and comforting . . . and rather spicy! It was everything that I've been needing lately -- hearty and sustaining as a mother's food should be.