Monday, January 26, 2009
Black Bean Stoup - "Stew meets Soup"
I have to give Rachael Ray credit for converting me from using boxed mixes and canned soups to make week night meals for my family. Actually, she was my inspiration to buy quality kitchen knives, and to stock my pantry with staples that helps me to throw a meal together in less than 30 minutes (this does not include the cleanup, thank you very much). I confess, though, that I can hardly stand to listen to her anymore. Her prattling and Rachaelisms have gotten on my last nerve! Whew! I got that off my chest.
However, there are a few of her recipes that are family staples. Her Black Bean Stoup recipe is one of them. I make and freeze my own chicken stock, but I do keep organic unsalted chicken stock in a box as a pantry staple. This recipe comes together really fast, and I did use boxed chicken stock. The only tweaking that I do with Rachael's recipe is that 3 cans of black beans (or you can soak and cook your own...and I do that, when I have time) isn't enough, for me. I prefer to add 4 cans. I have not had Rachael's success in mashing one can of black beans to thicken this recipe. Instead, I make a slurry of flour and water, and this works just fine to thicken the soup.
To me, I cannot skip adding fresh lime juice and fresh cilantro. It's what makes the whole soup come together with just the right flavors. I served this with Sweet Skillet Cornbread and a green salad for a hearty and delicious rainy night meal.