Black Bean Soup
Makes 10 servings
Beans are versatile and nutritious, and we've spiced them up with an exciting blend of ground chile peppers. Don't be afraid of the peppers, because if you prefer less heat you can always use a smaller amount.
Find this recipe and more in Chef Paul Prudhomme's Pure Magic.
3 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon Chef Paul Prudhomme's Poultry Magic®
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound dried black beans
1/4 cup yellow corn meal
1/2 pound bacon, diced
4 cups chopped onions, in all
1 cup chopped celery
6 cups chicken stock, in all
2 cups chopped green bell peppers
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
how to prepare
Day 1 Add enough water to the beans to cover them by 3 or 4 inches, and soak overnight in the refrigerator.
Day 2 Combine the first seven ingredients in a small bowl to make the Seasoning Mix.
Toast the corn meal in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring and shaking the pan frequently, until lightly toasted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Drain the beans.
Fry the bacon in a large heavy pot (cast iron is best) over high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in 2 cups of the onions, the celery, and 3 tablespoons of the seasoning mix,
cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the stock and scrape up the crust on the bottom of the pot. Add the beans, cover, and cook, occasionally scraping the bottom of the pot, for 18 about minutes. Add 2 cups more stock, scrape the pot bottom clean, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add 2 cups more stock, 2 tablespoons of the seasoning mix, the bell peppers, garlic, and the remaining 2 cups of onions. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 cup stock and
the remaining seasoning mix, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in the toasted corn meal and the cilantro. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 15 minutes. Serve garnished with thin lemon slices or a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
Note: If you can't find these same varieties where you shop, use what are available, but do use several kinds of varying heats for a rounded taste.
Note: Prepare ahead—notice that the beans must be soaked overnight before cooking.
Copyright© 1995 by Paul Prudhomme