As I had guessed, the odds were that I would be away from this space while on vacation. I have to confess that it really is a great thing to sometimes shut out all connectivity and spend time with people, talking and savoring the moment. We had a lot of fun, and you will see some glimpses as I sift through my pictures. I came back to a bit of excitement to find out that The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles had won the Best India Cookbook (2013) in the Gourmand Awards. Now, while that does not change the book, it feels good to see some recognition for the book, especially since I stink at promoting the book. Returning to Kennedy on a bleak dull day, I missed the sounds and colors of Indian almost instantly. India is a treat for the senses in almost every possible way, it takes me just an hour in my mother’s kitchen seduces me with the tantalizing fragrance of mustard oil, panch phoron and the visual delights of freshly chopped winter vegetables. The streets echo with vendor sounds, and busines, ambience and commerce all blend together into a happy marriage. The good news is that you get spared the New Year’s recap and resolutions post, since I am trying to cope with these super chilly temperatures and jet lag. I really wish we could spend all of January in India. At the end of the day, my Bengali blood is just not thick enough for these super cold temperatures. So, yes it really is pretty obvious that I am moving onto to soup, I mean let’s face it, nothing warms and comforts better than a good bowl of soup. This one is a kid tested and approved version of blackbean soup that will nourish you and warm your cockles.
Hopefully, it will also persuade you to check out some more recipes such as this Beef Barley Soup, a collection of ten from Small Bites and of course today’s recipe which as I told you about is soup. Adding some trusted ingredients from my spice closet certainly makes this blackbean soup sing, amazing what some ginger and cumin can do. As you might have guessed by now that I do not really have any new year resolutions, so you might as well tell me about some of them.
A thick and satisfying black bean soup with a good hint of spices.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium sized onion, diced
- 2 pods garlic, diced
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon powdered cumin
- 1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
- 11/2 cups black beans
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Chopped Cilantro
- Grated Carrots
- Sour Cream if desired
- Heat the oil at the base of a pressure cooker and add in the onion and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until soft and turning softly crisp at the corners.
- Add in the garlic and ginger and cook for about a minute.
- Mix in the cumin and cayenne pepper.
- Add in the black beans and the stock and bring to a simmer.
- Cook under pressure for 25 minutes, or cook on the stove top for 11/2 hours.
- Remove the cover and stir well. The beans should be soft and fairly thick.
- Stir in the lime juce.
- Garnish with the cilantro and grated carrots and the sour cream if desired. Enjoy hot.