10 September 2010

what's for dinner.

yesterday kicked off in the low forties, which at chez owens results in knee socks, grey hoodies, and soup for dinner.

la soupe du jour was a tasty classic: black bean. we paired savory bowls with creole corn muffins, which proved so winning a combo i'd be remiss not to share the love here.

black bean

Black Bean Soup

1 lb black beans
1½ lbs slab bacon or ham hocks
8 cups water
2 t celery salt
About 2 cups chicken or beef broth
1½ T olive oil
1½ cups finely chopped bell peppers (seeded and cored)
1½ cups chopped onions
1½ T finely minced garlic
1 t ground cumin
1 can (19 oz) tomatoes, peeled, diced, with juice
¼ cup red wine vinegar

Place beans, bacon/ham, water and celery salt in heavy kettle. Bring to boil; cover and simmer about 2½ hours or until beans are thoroughly tender. Remove meat; set aside. Drain beans and reserve along with meat and cooking liquid. Add enough broth to make 6 cups of liquid. Combine the beans with liquid in large bowl.

Heat oil in kettle; add peppers, onions, and garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring, until onions are wilted. Add tomatoes and vinegar. Let simmer about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, remove and discard skin/bones from bacon/ham hock. Chop bacon/ham; set aside. Add bean mixture to cooked tomato mixture. Add chopped meat, simmer until thoroughly heated. Serve in soup bowls.

Yield 8-10 servings.

now i must mention that if you are going to make this soup like i do, you need to not measure much of anything, use twice the amount of tomatoes (some of them fresh), skip the cumin because it doesn’t live on your shelf, and substitute garlic salt for celery salt, western ribs for ham hocks, and cider vinegar for wine vinegar.

also? i did not pre-soak my beans because:
a. the recipe didn’t say i had to
b. it sounded like something i’d rather not do

they turned out perfectly tender, though i cannot vouch that your beans will behave likewise.

i also left the beans&co in the kettle, sauteed the veggies&vinegar in a separate pan, and then added the veggies to the bean kettle because the recipe's way sounded a lot like i might spill something.

adding to the deliciousness were these little rubies:

you say tomato

with tomatoes this good, who needs chocolate? and i say that with about ninety-percent earnestness, so those were Some Tomatoes. speaking of percentages, i was five-thousand-percent convinced that if i snuck the tomatoes into the soup (well, as much as one can sneak engine-red-fruit into a brown soup), i’d win the rest of my family over to my 'mato-loving ways.

‘tis not the first time i’ve been five thousand percent certain and also wrong.

but on to the muffins:

creole muffins

Creole Corn Muffins
2 eggs, beaten
1½ cups milk
¾ cup vegetable shortening, melted
2 T bell pepper, chopped
2 T onion, chopped
2 T pimiento, chopped
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 t salt
4½ T (heaping) yellow cornmeal
2 T baking powder
4 T sugar

Mix eggs, milk and shortening. In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add milk mixture and stir until just combined (batter will be lumpy). Pour into greased muffin cups and bake in preheated 400°F. oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until done.

my muffin tips:
-most of the measurements can be eyeballed
-these muffins are especially delectable if you substitute red chili peppers for the pimientos.

happy souping, my friends.


Unknown said...

okay so I'm moving and I haven't connected the internet to my new place yet, and this post made me think, "WHAT SHALL I DO WITHOUT THE INTERNET?!?!"
Because, it looks so delicious and you show me HOW and if I hadn't read this TODAY I would have lived without knowing about black bean soup. I came very close to missing this! ACK!
It's too hot for soup right now, but hopefully by the time it's cold in my neck of the woods, I will be reconnected. It's something I MUST MAKE

Shannan Martin said...

I need to Soup with you.

And this post reminds me of why I am always a little leery of posting recipes, since I never do cross the i's and dot the t's.

ps- That little email you sent me nearly a week ago? I have thought of your supreme kindness and confidence every single day since.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

We're heavy into soup season up here - this recipe could not have been better timed!

My current fav: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Italian-Sausage-Soup-with-Tortellini/Detail.aspx

SZM said...

Yummy! Those muffins look especially divine. And I am giving myself a teeny pat on the back because I blogged about soup today too! You know, great minds and all~

Unknown said...

i'm holding off on soup season...maybe one more week? but! i've favorited this as our first to try! i love soup season.

[and i adore you and hearing your voice here. much, muchly!]

Sami Jo said...

last week my nephew made us Chili and Oh. My. I was SOOOO feeling that good ole feeling of autumn, yummy soups, sweaters ad crackling fireplaces.... yum.

Mommy Emily said...

can i come over for dinner? :)

amy luella said...

i love me some soup and warm bread!=) and i have the fixings for all of it...give or take a few minors. thanks and YUM!