Long-Simmering Black Bean Soup
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and sorted
1 cup chopped onion
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large celery stalks, diced
2 or 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning (see cookbook for brands)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup dry red wine or sherry, optional
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
finely chopped fresh parsley
The American classic - robust and brimming with complex flavors. Perfect for rainy days spent indoors, this soup is great served with fresh cornbread and a crisp green salad.
Soak the overnight in a large pot with plenty of water, covered. Or cover with water, bring to a boil, then let stand off the heat for an hour for a shortcut version of presoaking.
In either case, drain the beans after soaking, and rinse. Place in a soup pot with fresh water in a ratio of approximately 3 parts water to 1 part beans. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer steadily for 1 hour.
Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, seasoning mix, nutmeg, and optional wine. Simmer for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are soft.
Scoop out about 1 1/2 cups of the beans with a slotted spoon, avoiding as much as possible scooping out the other vegetables. Set aside.
Discard the bay leaves and transfer the solid ingredients, in batches, to a food processor or blender. Use about 1/4 cup cooking liquid per batch. Process until smoothly pureed, then return the puree to the soup pot along with the reserved beans. Or, insert an immersion blender into the pot and process until smoothly pureed. Season with salt and pepper and return to low heat for 15 minutes.
Just before serving, heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the sliced onion and saute over medium heat until golden brown.
Garnish each serving with some of the sautÃ©ed onion, 2 lemon slices, and some chopped parsley. This soup keeps very well for several days, and the flavor improves as it stands.
Per serving: Calories: 277, Total fat: 3 g, Protein: 15 g, Fiber: 12 g, Carbohydrate: 50 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 28 mg
In this completely revised edition of the classic Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons, Nava Atlas ladles out more than 120 satisfying soups and stews -including 20 new recipes. Arranged in seasonal chapters, these bountiful bowlfuls are now completely vegan. Published by Amberwood Press Copyright 2006 by Nava Atlas. For dozens more easy and healthful vegetarian and vegan recipes, visit Nava's web site, In a Vegetarian Kitchen, http://vegkitchen.com, and her vegan blog, Veggie Talk, http://blog.vegkitchen.com. To learn more about Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons, click on http://vegkitchen.com/books/vegetarian-soups.htm.