This spicy soup doubles as the foundation for many a Latin meal. It tastes even better the next day.
Black Bean Soup
1 pounddry black beans, rinsed
5 cupswater to cover beans
1 tablespoonchili powder
1/2 teaspoonblack pepper
2 tablespoonsvegetable oil
1 largeonion, diced
1jalapeno pepper, diced
4 clovesgarlic, minced
1 cupvegetable broth
1/2 cuploosely packed cilantro, chopped
1/2 cupsour cream
1 smalltomato, diced
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes, plus overnight
Rinse black beans and let sit overnight.
Rinse beans once more. Pour into large pot. Add water until beans are covered, plus 2 inches. Bring to roiling boil. Cook on high about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add seasoning and bay leaves and reduce heat to medium. Cook until beans are very tender, 90 to 120 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in large heavy-bottomed skillet. Saute onion, jalapeno and garlic. Cook until onion is tender, 5 or 6 minutes. Cover and simmer over low heat.
Carefully transfer 1 cup cooked black beans to blender. Add vegetable broth and sauteed vegetables. Process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Return contents to pot. Bring to low boil. Add handful of cilantro, sour cream and lime juice. Stir until ingredients are blended, about 1 minute. Simmer until ready to serve. Top with tomato, cilantro and a dollop of sour cream, if you like.