Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crockpot Black Bean Soup

My neighbors invited us over for dinner on Saturday and made black bean soup in the crockpot. Which was delicious. And inspiring. So that's what I made yesterday/today.

Yesterday, I had to cook up the beans in the pressure cooker. And I did the quick soak first. Which never really works well. The beans end up broken. If you ever want to make beans in the pressure cooker, the best way is to soak several hours, then cook. You can do the quick soak. You can cook without soaking. BUT the results just aren't as good.

I also sauteed the vegetables. My soup was vegetarian, a recipe I adapted from "125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes" by Judith Finlayson. It was heavily adapted. I didn't have some of the veggies she uses, but I had others. Still it was tasty. Her recommendations for sauteing the veggies and using some whole spices are great. But...not as good as the neighbor's soup (which wasn't vegetarian). Mine was a little watery, so I pureed some of it at the end and added alphabets at the last minute to thicken it up. It tasted a little smoky, probably from last year's roasted poblanos.

The bad part about the soup (and the roasted kale), is that summer has arrived. Yes, after a summer of learning to swim in the frigid Pacific, where the ocean was about 59 degrees (instead of 65+), and it was so foggy that we could barely see the buoys on most days - now, in late September, it reaches over 100 degrees. 103? 108? When I checked it at 5 pm, it was 100.1 at home. It's days like these when I am happy that the previous owner of our home painted and nailed the windows shut and installed AC. The heat is not terribly surprising, as September is usually the hottest month. Generally, it's around labor day though.

The good part about the soup is that I've got a 4 cup portion for the freezer (for a future Friday night's dinner), and enough for a couple more mid-week meals.

Crockpot Black Bean Soup
1 lb dried black beans, cooked, with about 1-2 cups cooking liquid: 1.29
1 small onion, diced: 0.20
2 small green peppers, diced: free from a coworker
3 cloves garlic, pressed: 0.15
2 Tbsp chopped roasted poblanos: 0.20
2 ears corn, steamed and cut off cob: 0.80 (corn is not cheap here, and not as good as in PA)
1/2 small can tomato paste: 0.17
2 Tbsp cumin seeds: 0.25
1 tsp thyme: 0.10
1 Tbsp oregano: 0.10
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 vegetable bouillon cube: 0.38
5 cups water
3.5 oz alphabets: 0.20

Total: $3.84 for about 12 cups, $0.32 per cup. Served with tortilla chips, kale chips, and some avocado and sour cream.

To prep the night before: cook the beans and put in the fridge.

Saute the onions and peppers until soft. Add the garlic and spices and cook for about two minutes. Add tomato paste and blend well. Put all of this stuff and the corn and bouillon in a different container. Or the same one as the beans if it's big enough.

Before heading off to work in the morning, combine all the ingredients except the alphabets. Cook on low 8 to 10 hrs.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender a little bit. Add the alphabets and cook another 30 minutes.

1 comment:

Biz said...

You know I don't think I've ever used my crockpot to make soup before!

Glad you were able to thicken it up at the end :D