At first, this may seem odd, but, trust me.
Black bean soup with orange juice in it.
A new concept for me, at least. Annie gave me a copy of the New Moosewood Cookbook (100% vegetarian cookbook) a while back, and I had my usual Post-it stickies on every page where a recipe had happened to catch my eye. This was one of them. I was intrigued by this orange juice….would it be good?
Oh, yes, it was.
And, I happened to see Herbivoracious’s concept of a mandarin orange, jalapeno, and red onion salsa for a version of black bean soup that he had posted. It was fate, I guess.
And, for the first time, I tried soaking the black beans overnight. Completely worth it. The canned version would be a substitute in a pinch, but the soaking of the beans (maybe I am imagining it) added a ton of flavor and more texture to the soup.
Black Bean Soup with Mandarin, Jalapeno, and Red Onion Salsa
Servings: Approximately 6-8
For the soup:
2 cups dry black beans, soaked******Soak the 2 cups black beans in enough water to completely cover them for at least 4 hours or overnight
4 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups chopped onion
10 medium cloves of garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons cumin
2 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 and 1/2 cups orange juice
black pepper, to taste
cayenne, to taste
2 medium tomatoes, diced (optional, but highly recommended)
For the salsa:
6 mandarin oranges
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely sliced
Sour cream (optional)
Queso fresco (optional)
1. For the soup: Place the soaked beans in a kettle or Dutch oven with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until tender (about 1 hour and 15 minutes).
2. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add onion, half the garlic, cumin, salt, and carrot. Cook over medium heat until the carrot is just tender (a few minutes).
3. Add remaining garlic and the bell pepper. Cook until everything is very tender (about 10-15 minutes).
4. Add the mixture from the skillet to the beans.
5. Stir in the orange juice, black pepper, cayenne, and optional tomatoes.
6. Puree all of some (I did about half) of the soup in a blender (BE VERY CAREFUL) or with an immersion mixer.
7. Simmer over very low heat 10 to 15 minutes more.
8. For the salsa: Right before the soup is ready, thinly slice all the ingredients and mix together (or leave separate, like I did). Garnish soups to taste.
Happy Anniversary to Sara and Jack!