I feel like sharing a recipe of my own. I usually guard these, thinking that if I share my goods, all will be lost in regards to future cookbook writing. But really Whitney, get a grip.
I made this for din-din the other night and I loved the way it turned out. Such bold flavors, perfect texture and a huge punch of protein. A secret to a great bean soup is blending up some of the beans to give the soup a creamier, thicker texture. One soup you might be familiar with that uses that techinque is Pasta Fagioli. And as usual, soup tastes better as a leftover lunch.
You will notice the recipe asks for a California bay leaf. Look for those in your spice and herb section at the grocery store. They are double the flavor power of regular bay leaves. Because they are so powerful, you only have to use half, thus you can justify the price increase. They have such an intoxicating aroma.
Black Bean Soup with Bacon and Cilantro
recipe by Whitney Ingram
7 pieces bacon, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 dried California bay leaf
4 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and 1 1/2 cups beans set aside
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
In a large pot over medium high heat, add bacon. Saute until bacon is cooked through. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon and set aside in a bowl. Reduce heat to medium and in remaining bacon fat, add red bell pepper, onion, garlic and salt. Saute until peppers and onions are softened, about 10 minutes. Add oregano, bay leaf, 2 1/2 cups black beans and chicken stock. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. In a blender, add reserved 1 1/2 cups black beans and 1 cup of the chicken stock from the pot. Blend until beans are smooth. Pour into soup and stir well. Simmer over medium for 10 minutes. Before serving, stir in cooked bacon and cilantro.
Yields 6 servings.