Friday, February 26, 2010

It's Friday, it's Lent, and you just aren't in the mood for fish? (Black Bean Soup Recipe)

Well, that's weird. Fish is so versatile. It's so good for you. It', fishy.

I guess I see your point.

Have you ever considered converting? No? I was almost Jewish once, but that's a different story, and then again, that wouldn't help. If I can't handle going without meat four days out of the year, can you imagine me during Passover? "Hand me the sackcloth and ashes, I'm eating crackers...again!"

At the very least my whining will take the form of recipes you actually may want to eat. I'm a firm believer in not eating food that isn't edible. Diet food? Psssht! Fat free with an ingredient list the length of a Sinclair Lewis novel? Really, no, I just couldn't.

Here's a tip for avoiding that socially awkward ordeal:

How nice that you found the fat free alternative, and by the way, I'm...fasting. It's too bad I can't try any of that right now. You can have it all, really, and did you know I can fast for an entire day? Wanna watch? It's good for me. Yes, even better than Olestra!

Black Bean Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 small bell peppers (use red ones if you want a pretty soup)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
pinch of red pepper flakes
4 cans chicken broth
4 cans drained black beans
salt and pepper to taste

In the soup pot, using medium heat, cook the onions, garlic and peppers until the onions are translucent, taking care not to let the garlic brown. Add the broth and spices* and bring to a boil. Add beans, bring to a boil again. Salt and pepper to taste.

If you have a blender, blend half the soup (in small batches!) and add back to the soup. If you don't like the mess or you prefer to chew your own soup, make a cornstarch roux to thicken it--mix until completely dissolved 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 3/4 cup water, add to soup and continue boiling for 2 minutes.

To round out the meal, serve with cornbread and a green salad.

*Here's a flavor blaster tip: premix the spices and have them in a bowl set aside and ready to go. When the onions are just about ready, toss the spices into the pot and "fry" them for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then add your broth.

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