Monday, September 19, 2011

Black Bean and Rice Soup

I have been extremely excited about the weather changing for many reasons. One of those reasons is that I love making soup! I discovered this love at the end of last winter. Soup just isn't the same during the summer though, so I've been patiently waiting for the fall season. Well, it's here now and I made my first soup.

black beans
red onion
green pepper
diced tomatoes
white or brown rice
cayenne pepper
garlic powder

I used dry black beans, so the first step was to soak these beans. I decided to do a quick soak, which you will still have to give yourself a few hours to do prior to making the soup. Start by giving the beans a real good rinse. 

I used 1/2 cup of dry beans and placed them in three cups of water. Bring your beans to a boil and let them boil for just a few minutes and then take them off the heat. You'll then let them sit in this water for around 2-3 hours. 

Once you're getting towards the end of your soak time for the beans, you can start the other steps. I started by roasting the green pepper. I knew this would take about 30 minutes, so it would give me plenty of time for everything else. You'll want to put your pepper on a foil lined baking sheet that is coated with cooking spray. Then you can put it into an oven that is set at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. You might want to check your pepper every 10 minutes and turn it as needed. 

When I decided that I was in the mood to make soup, I realized that I didn't have any broth on hand. I decided not to let this stop me. I'd make a "broth" of my own by basically using spices and water. To make this I used 5 cups of water along with 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp cumin, and 3 tsp garlic powder. You'll also add salt and pepper to taste. Put this together and let it start to simmer while you go along to your other steps. 

I diced (terribly) 1/2 of the red onion. 

After letting the "broth" simmer for about 5-10 minutes, I added in the diced onion along with one (15 oz.) can of diced tomatoes. Stir these ingredients occasionally while letting them simmer. 

By this time your black beans should be done and your can drain and rinse them. I think it is crazy how black the water gets. I didn't let mine get completely soft because I knew I would be letting my soup simmer for awhile at the end. 

I used 3/4 cup of dry white rice and made it in my rice cooker. It takes around 20 minutes to make, so you'll want to start this accordingly to make sure it fits into your cooking process. 

Once your green pepper is roasted then you'll want to take it out of the oven and get the skin off of it.
I have more detailed steps on roasting a pepper in a previous post.  

Dice up your roasted pepper. 

Add your beans, rice, and pepper into the pot. You're pretty much ready to serve it at this point, but you could also let it simmer to let the flavors grow. I let mine simmer for about 30 more minutes. You'll probably need to add more water if you do this, because the beans and rice will start to soak it up (I ended up using 1 more cup of water). 

This soup definitely had flavor to it. It even had a little kick. Oh, and it definitely makes plenty. I would say it made about 6-8 servings. I really enjoyed it and it was a great way to start off the soup season.

Until next time.


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