Friday, December 21, 2012

Spicy Pepper and Black Bean Chile

The idea for this soup arose from a sale on "variety peppers" at the grocery store. Incidentally, Congress member Tim Walz was at the grocery store that day to meet and greet constituents and there was a line of at least 80 senior citizens snaked around the produce section in line to meet the Honorable Mr. Walz each clutching a list of intended talking points, which I think is excellent.

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
1 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced in whatever shape you desire
About 8-10 different varieties of hot peppers, seeds removed and sliced into thin rounds
2 tsp. chile powder
1/2 heaping tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt, divided
2 15 oz. cans of black beans, rinsed and drained (or 3-4 c. home cooked beans)
32 oz. can crushed tomatoes
4 c. water or vegetable broth
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, minced

1) Slice all of the vegetables, rinse and drain the beans, and measure out the spices and have them ready to use. To slice the peppers, cut off the stem side and then use a paring knife to scrape out the seeds before you slice them into thin rounds.

2) Heat the oil in a large soup pan over medium heat and then add the garlic. Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds.

3) Add the peppers, onion and 1/2 tsp. of sea salt, and toss to mix. Let the peppers and onions cook until soft, about 7-10 minutes, while stirring occasionally.

4) Once the onions and peppers have softened sprinkle the remaining salt and the additional spices over the vegetables and stir to coat the vegetables (this keeps the spices from clumping when you add the liquid).

5) Add the beans, tomatoes, and broth or water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes.

6) Once the soup is done cooking add the cilantro.

This makes about 6 servings. 

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