Sunday, November 28, 2010

Veg. Black Bean Soup: The Sunday Recipe on the Road

One of the best things about being a Steelers fans is that, when you travel, you can always find a bar to call home. From Miami, Florida to Miami, Ohio; from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon. My cousin Pete went to a Steelers bar in Rome. [The one in Italy, not the one in Georgia. And not Georgia, the Republic of, but the state in the south of the USA.]

One of my favorites writers, D.J. Gallo, wrote a great story about Steelers bars all over for ESPN. We're pretty spoiled as a group. I don't imagine it's this easy to find a joint to watch, say, the Rams. Or the Bengals. First off, who even wants to admit to being a Bengals fan, but that's another post altogether.

Meanwhile, it is pretty easy to find a Steelers bar in NYC, although my favorite haunt, Scruffy Duffy's, is no longer around. (Moment of silence for the great Scruffy Duffy's.) I will likely watch the Steelers whup up on the Bills and the pride of Harvard from Blondie's, a bar on the Upper West Side, so I'll probably end up knoshing on bar food for the game. But the Sunday Recipe must go on and one of my favorite Sunday Steelers foods is black bean soup.

You will need:
3 cans of black beans
vegetable stock (32 oz. container)
several carrots (shredded or one bag of matchstick carrots)
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 bell pepper, diced (preferably red, yellow or orange; green peppers are too bitter for this soup)
2 to 4 chilis, diced (any kind you like and as few or as many as you like, depending on your enjoyment of hot; I tend to eat fire, so ...)
1 can of diced tomatoes (at this time of year, the fresh tomatoes are pretty disgusting, so canned are actually better)
2 limes
2 or 3 tablespoons of ground cumin
The garnishes: sour cream, cilatro, hot sauce, scallions, tortilla chips

The prep:
The prep for this is really simple. Heat some olive oil in a soup pot. Smash and finely dice the garlic. Dice the onion, bell pepper and chilis. Add all the veg to the hot oil, add a pinch of salt and sautee until soft.

Then add the carrots and the cumin and continue to sautee until the carrots soften.

Rinse the beans thoroughly and add to the pot. Add the veg. stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Taste to check for seasoning. You may need more salt. And, if you're like me, you'll probably need more cumin. Cook for about an hour.

Juice one lime and add the lime juice. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with lime wedges, fresh cilantro, sour cream, diced scallions, cheese, hot sauce and tortilla chips. Super simple, super delicious, strangely healthy (but I don't let that stop me.)

Enjoy. Go Stillers.

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