23 March 2012

Black Bean Soup - Made with Dried Beans - And Muir Glen Organic Giveaway




Black bean soup can be made brothy, which I don't like, or can be pureed, which my husband-with-texture-issues would not touch; but I come up with a happy medium by long, slow cooking. Warning: If you don't have a 7-quart pot, just make half a batch in a 4- or 5-quart pot. I used a 6-quart pot for the double batch and it nearly overflowed; couldn't add the chicken broth until the soup had cooked down a bit!

Black bean soup made with dried beans takes a while (which is why I wanted to make a huge batch--it freezes well). If you're in a hurry, try my Black Bean Soup - Made with Canned Beans instead. But if you have time, use the dried beans. I prefer them, and they are much cheaper! Do the math: 1 pound of organic dried black beans for $2 to $3 equals 4 15-ounce cans of organic black beans for a total of about $8.

Black Bean Soup

(Makes about 5 quarts)

2 pounds dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
3 quarts water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups finely chopped onion
2 cups finely chopped celery
2 cups finely chopped carrots
1 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 quart low sodium chicken broth
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen fire roasted, one 14-ounce regular and one 14-ounce with medium green chilies)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 Rinse and pick over beans to remove any debris. In 7-quart pot, soak beans overnight (8 to 24 hours) in 4 quarts of water salted with 3 tablespoons of salt.

2 In 7-quart stockpot, heat olive oil and cook chopped vegetables about 15 minutes until softened. (I would love to have the All-Clad Stainless 7-Quart Stockpot with Pasta Insert!

3 Drain and rinse soaked beans, and add to vegetables in stockpot. Add 3 quarts fresh water. Bring to a boil. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar. Reduce heat and simmer slowly, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours.

4 Add remaining ingredients. Continue simmering for 3 hours. Actually, I like to cook it down even more.

Muir Glen Organic Giveaway
One winner will receive a Muir Glen Organic Reserve Gift Basket. All US residents who leave a comment (one entry per person) on this post before 11:59pm Eastern time March 28 will be put into a random drawing. Winner will be announced here before noon Eastern time on Thursday March 29.  

39 comments:

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

The soup looks delicious! It's got such a great color, sometimes black beans get muddy looking, and yours is certainly not muddy! I've never cooked dried black beans (shameful I know), thanks for this delicious recipe - I'm going to give the dried beans a shot! Great giveaway, too, Muir Glen products rock!

Jean said...

Thanks so much, Andrea! I know what you mean about the "muddy," though I hadn't thought to use that word. That's the problem I had to solve in order to get my husband to eat black bean soup. Everywhere we went, it was "muddy." He couldn't get past the look of it.

Melissa C. said...

Black Beans are my second culinary love (after avacados), but together with a bit of rice and salsa. ooohh baby!
thebombbalm@gmail.com

Jean said...

Melissa, I know what you mean about avocados! In fact, I garnished the soup with diced avocado. If you're a rice fan, too, you should definitely check out my Mexican Rice recipe.

Richard Sheppard said...

Last week I bought a bag of black beans to make, well, beans! I usually use a pressure cooker to speed things up a bit. But this recipe looks so tasty I think I'll give it a try sometime this week.

Jean said...

Wonderful! And do let me know how you like it. (Why not pick up another pound of beans, use an undersized pot, and get purplish black bean juice all over your stovetop?! Would make a lovely watercolor sketch!)

Sippity Sup said...

can't disagree with black bean math! GREG

Jean said...

True, Greg, and then there's the matter of finding the beans in non-BPA-lined cans!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Anything that takes a long time to make has to be good. (This does not apply to government functions/dysfunctions). Tell your husband to just suck it up with or without a straw. He used to work out off Belle Isle in the Detroit River, and this is why he is so sensitive to fluids straining through his gob. He may have swallowed some alien life forms at that time, and so there is no predicting his behavior and alleged tastes. If he had swum butterfly as he was supposed to, instead of that low in the water breaststroke, this would not have happened. I recommend you dose him every hour with castor oil and hunky bean soup that has been fast tracked. :-)

Jean said...

Who'd have thought *you* would take such a hard line with someone's picky eating! I think I need to tie you both in chairs and feed you whatever I like!

Southerner said...

Hi Jean. This sounds good. What is the shelf life of tomatoes from the Muir Glen farms? Can't imagine the crop would last long once picked. Is there much wastage?

I'm a little suspicious of organically grown stuff. The name organic and it's apparent benefits always sounds a brilliant idea of course. However if you look into what the legal and technical terms mean they can mean differnt things for different products. These are legal definitions not always what we think they they mean. The video leaves out so much. It glosses over a lot. Perhaps they don't want to us to explore further.

What happens if a farm nearby to an organic farm uses chemical fertisers??

It;' a murky business organic farming but a great selling logo.

No, I'm not cynical, but it's always worth finding out exactly what the term means and what it doesn't mean.

Jean said...

Hi Tony, I think the tomatoes are canned quite promptly after picking (8 hours from the vine to the can). I know there has been misuse of the word "organic" by many, but I am confident Muir Glen indeed meets the standards. Nothing is foolproof (and, as some people who don't pay much attention to what's in their food often say, "we're all gonna die anyway") but I feel I'm going to be healthier longer if I avoid ingesting pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc, in conventional (as opposed to organic) foods. So I buy organic meat, produce, flour, grains, everything, whenever possible (and have done for decades). And I was very pleased when Muir Glen switched to non-BPA-lined tins. The USDA organic standards also prohibit GMO/GE foods; and that is very important to me.

Sarah L said...

This is just the type of black bean soup that I love. I'm definitely going to give this recipe a try!

Southerner said...

Jean, thanks for your patient reply.

The thing is food is such an emotive issue.It has enormous political and social consequences. When you mention organic foods, I can't help thinking of all the science laboratories around the world trying to find solutions to saving our planet. There are tens of millions dieing because of drought and the lack of food. Ethiopia could benefit greatly from GM crops designed to grow in drought conditions with very little water. It would save so much suffering in the world. The way the population of the world is going GM crops might be the only solution for all of us. It is very easy in our middle class bubbles to have these idealistic dreams.

The tower blocks of the future are going to be sustainable communities in themselves having living, working and food growing floors. The food from seed to plate is going to have to be very fast.They are designing and beginning to build versions of them at the moment.London has a new tower block going up that will have garden levels with trees and shrubs incorporated into them.

Katherine said...

super great giveaway! I love black bean soup!


katherinedibello (at) gmail (dot) com

Jean said...

Sarah and Katherine, thanks! Hope you'll make some soup soon!

Jean said...

Tony, I love our little chats, even though I fear we'll never agree! :D It's funny that what you said about organic "a murky business organic farming, but a great selling logo" is exactly what I might say about GMO! As the number of people opposing GMO has risen, the giant corporations behind it have had to hire great PR people to greenwash it. I believe small-scale farming of native crops will do far more to end world hunger than will allowing the GMO giants to completely take over world food production. Rather than increasing yields, there is often a drop in yields with GMO. AND it destroys diversity and established sustainable agricultural systems to the detriment of the planet and all its people. I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree about this! Yes, I am an idealist, but I do not reside in a "middle class bubble" with no worries about others. I just don't happen to believe that the giant agribusiness corporations really care about feeding starving people; they want to make money. Rather than reducing world hunger, genetic engineering is more likely to increase it.

Cranberry Morning said...

Oh my! I absolutely love black beans, and I would like it just like that. Perfect! Can't wait to try this, Jean.

Jean said...

Cool! I hope it turns out well for you, Judy.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Jean this looks and sounds delicious! Perfect combination of spices and flavors. Your picture is incredible (as usual). I will definitely make a batch this weekend. I can taste it--love the cumin, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes combo.

Sue

Jean said...

Thanks, Sue! I hope you and your family like it as much as we do! It's really good with flour tortillas.

Southerner said...

Oh Jean I am with you in many ways. It just seems to me that it isn't a question of one approach. I think perhaps, like most other things, a compromise is going to be the best thing for the progress of humanity. Organic crops are good I know and probably better for you than crops that have been genetically modified and treated with chemical fertilisers, although there has been a debate in this country about what exactly organic means. It seemed that the general public had one idea or just fuzzy notions of what it meant and the reality was something different tied up with scientific and legal definitions.Also this thing about fields being left for three years before being termed organic,many pesticides and chemical fertisers stay in the ground far longer than three years. So what really is organic?

It is worth thinking about anyway.

I love our conversations too. I think your recipes and the food you portray are amazing by the way, Jean. Have a great day, Tony

Yenta Mary said...

The soup looks fabulous! And Muir Glen makes amazing products - what a great giveaway! :)

Jean said...

Thanks, Mary!

lindsay said...

Black bean soup is delicious. Great recipe try out.

Jean said...

Thanks, Lindsay. I hope you'll try it very soon.

Cynthia said...

I love Muir Glen products and that soup sounds great.

boris dot cynthia @gmail.com

Jean said...

Thanks, Cynthia. I hope you'll give it a try soon.

LANA said...

Black bean soup is one of my favorites, your looks scrumptious! Thanks for the recipe!

Jean said...

Thanks, Lana! It's a dish that will fit right in at Wildberry Cottage!

bconsbruck said...

This looks delicious and I can't wait to try it. I love Muir Glen tomatoes.

Jean said...

Thanks! I hope you'll try it soon.

Tim @ Chicken and Apples said...

I love black bean soup, but I usually end up pureeing part of it to thicken it up. I can't wait to try your version.

Jean said...

Tim, let me know how you like it. I think it's a more attractive color when it's just cooked down rather than pureed. (My husband has color issues, too, besides texture issues!)

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Okay Jean--Here's the follow up. I didn't have any black beans, but I still had a gourmet mix of beans so I used those--other than that I used the recipe as written. My multi-bean mix retained the beautiful color as seen in your pic. My husband loved the soup! I think the red pepper added a sweetness to his taste buds.

Barnabas and Ashley said...

Wow! Just found yor site and this looks so delicious! I can't wait to try it out.

Jean said...

Thanks! Hope it turns out well for you.

Richard Sheppard said...

Jean, this soup was so good I couldn't stop eating it! I have two confessions. One, I cooked it in my pressure cooker for 25 minutes once it was at pressure. And two, I topped it off with sour cream and mexican cheese mix! Ha! My whole family loved it! I'll be making this one again!

Jean said...

Richard, I'm so glad you liked it! Yes, a dollop of sour cream is classic on bean soup. Or cheese. I usually do one or the other, but hey why not both!

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