Monday, 3 June 2013

Spicy Black Bean Pale Ale Soup

Generally, I don't make any fussy weeknight dinners. But that doesn't mean I don't want something flavourful.  Soup is a great dinner and can be made in advance, like on a slow weekend and kept for dinners (and lunches) throughout the week.

This is a great recipe to be made ahead and served during the week. It's also wonderful for those long tiresome Mondays, because it includes one of my favourite ingredients: beer!

Spicy Black Bean Pale Ale Soup


1 1/2 cups dried black beans (soaked overnight or for 10 hours in 4 cups of water)
1 355 ml can of Pale Ale (I used Red Racer brewed in Surrey, BC)
2 vine ripened tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup button mushrooms, chopped
5 cups water
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon Adoba seasoning (can be substituted for salt and pepper)
1/2 teaspoon fennel
1 tablespoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Hot sauce to taste (I used the amazing Cool Canadian hot sauce from Chamomile Desjardins, bought at the Ottawa Farmer's Market)
Squeeze of lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
An embarrassing amount of sharp cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips

To start this recipe, measure  the dried black beans into a large glass bowl and cover with 4 cups of water. Let soak overnight or for 10 hours. Once the beans have soaked overnight, they can be cooked in a large pot of 4 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring the beans to a boil, let simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. By this time, there will still be some liquid left over in the pot. Turn the beans off and set aside (do not drain).

In a food processor or blender, blend the tomatoes and garlic until smooth. Heat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chopped onion, red pepper and mushrooms; cook until softened (about five minutes). Add all of the spices and seasoning and let the spices toast in the pan for about one minute. Add the blended tomato and garlic mixture; let simmer for 3 minutes. Add the beans that were set aside, the beer, the hot sauce, and the final cup of water; mix together well. Bring the mixture to a simmer and turn down to a medium low heat; cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

After the 35 minutes, the beans should be tender. Use a hand blender and blend the soup smooth. Add a squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Serve in a large bowl with (as the recipe states) an embarrassingly large amount of sharp cheddar cheese and tortillas chips. The soup would also be great with guacamole or plain yogurt dolloped on top. 

This soup is very healthy, packed with protein and quite easy to make. Spice up your weeknight dinners and give it a try!


-Tina (Turnip)

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