Mayas Black Bean Soup
2 cups (one pound) black beans
6 cups water
2 bay leaves
¼ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup (2 medium onions) minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups celery with leaves minced, (3 stalks)
¼ teaspoon celery seed
1 cup of carrot, minced or finely grated
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon oregano, dry
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)
1tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 lime juiced
1 dash cayenne (red) pepper (or more to taste)
2tablespoon vegetable broth
This is a VERY easy recipe. Prep time is only about 20 minutes. Cook Time varies depending on whether you use a pressure cooker or conventional pot.
A FEW NOTES: This soup is meant to be pretty smooth. It can be made smoother or chunkier with little effort. A food processor for getting a really fine mince on the veggies (I have a very small one and it works just fine for this) will be a huge help. You will also need a blender or one of those hand-held stick blenders you can immerse in your pot. Lastly, you don't need it, but a pressure cooker will allow you to make this soup in about an hour. I know, I know-I used to be scared of them too. The new ones are not like what you remember from your childhood. Get a big one. You will wonder how you managed without it. Really.
Remove all foreign matter (stones, etc.,) from the beans. Rinse then completely cover the beans with water and soak overnight. (This is better than quick soaking because it helps remove indigestible vegan sugars and almost eliminates digestive problems.) Drain the old water and place the beans in a deep pot or pressure cooker. Add 4 cups of water and the olive oil. Cook beans on medium heat, covered, until soft (about 1½ to 2 hours or just 15 minutes in a pressure cooker at the high setting). If using a blender, pour 2/3 of the beans into the blender and puree. If using the hand blender, remove 1/3 of the beans and puree the rest. Return all to original pot, add bay leaves and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally.
Heat broth in a large non-stick skillet and saute onion, celery, carrot, cumin, basil, celery seed, cayenne and about 4 minced cloves of garlic until vegetables are tender (10 to 15 minutes). Add this to the beans along with the parsley, lime juice, black pepper and salt. Add remainder of water (or more) to thin soup to the desired consistency. Cook another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remainder of garlic, finish cooking with another 15 minutes.
Garnish with vegan sour cream and some bits of green onion.