Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Baradin's Black Bean Soup

When it gets close to dinner time every night it's always interesting to decide what to have. Now, don't get me wrong. I do plan out a week's worth of meals so it makes shopping easier, but I don't always decide which day I'll be doing what meal. Why? Well...

Weather plays a huge part in what I decide to cook for dinner. And with the way our weather is in this part of the country you'll only know for sure what it's going to be like about 12 hours before it's here. On bone-cold days like this when it's -20 (wind chill) outside it's definitely a soup day. I need something warm and smooth and soothing to my summer-lovin' soul. It's also gotta be drinkable because I ain't doing nothin' today except grinding heroics for rep in the middle of a big pile of blankets with my coat on and a space heater. No wonder the Lich King was so grumpy at the world. I would be too if it was perpetually winter!

This scrumptious black bean soup is perfect for a day like today. It's not only low calorie and good for you but it's also cheap to make! The cilantro and sour cream garnish is in perfect balance with the mild heat and saltiness of the soup. It's pureed just enough that you can drink it easily from a mug or have it in a bowl like normal people do. But it's also not pureed too much so that you don't get anything to chew on.

There are normal leftovers and there are great leftovers. This one falls in the great leftovers category. It freezes well. It heats up well. And it's a well known fact that leftovers are perfect for Raid Nights. There are very few things that are faster to cook than heating up some leftover soup. So go ahead, make a double patch of this stuff. Stick some in the fridge or freezer and have the rest tonight for dinner!

Baradin's Black Bean Soup
3 Servings | Total Time: 30 Minutes | Journeyman

  • 1 Tbl Canola Oil
  • 1 Tbl Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbl Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbl Cumin
  • 1 Tbl Paprika
  • 1 tsp Celery Salt or 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 14oz cans of Black Beans, rinsed
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Salsa
  • 1 dash Hot Sauce (optional)
  • 1 Tbl Lime Juice
  • 2 Tbl Cilantro, chopped
  • Sour Cream (for garnish)
  • Kitchen Weapon Proficiency -Food Processor or Blender
Craft: Place a medium-large pot over medium heat. Add Oil, Onion Powder, Chili Powder, Cumin, Paprika, and Celery Salt/Salt. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add Black Beans, Water, Salsa, 1 Tbl of the Cilantro, and Hot Sauce (if desired). Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Lime Juice. Transfer 1/2 to 3/4 of the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Be careful when handling hot liquids! Pour the puree back into the soup pot and stir until well combined. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of Cilantro.

Strategies: This soup can be really mild or really hot depending on how you like it. If you really don't like anything spicy then skip the hot sauce and the salsa and instead add another 1/4 cup of water and minced tomatoes. If you want a more mild taste, skip the hot sauce and use mild salsa only. If you like super firey hot then add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes when you're cooking the spices at the beginning. Also, if you don't have a food processor or blender and want one don't worry! These appliances are actually pretty cheap. You can get a good one for anywhere from $10 to $30.

LFM: This soup goes great with biscuits or tortilla chips. Ice cream is an excellent follow-up if you went for the spicy version and need to cool off your mouth!

  • Black Beans, 140z x2 | $1.50
  • Mild Salsa | $2.50
  • Lime Juice | $1.00
  • Cilantro | $1.50
  • Sour Cream | $2.00
Total Cost: $8.50
Cost Per Serving: $2.13

Category: Casual, Critical Hits

*This meal contains staple items such as spices that you may or may not have in your pantry so your cost may vary.

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