Saturday, March 6, 2010

Vegan Black Bean and Squash Soup

Pee Pang was kind enough to send me a bag of black beans and made me promise I would post my finished products. I made this soup over Christmas break for New Years and I thought it turned out pretty good and have been craving it ever since. Despite it looking like a bowl of mud I assure you it's delicious!

This recipe comes from the book Love Soup by Anna Thomas who also wrote the Vegetarian Epicure. I got both of these books for Christmas and have been lovingly flipping through them for the last few months. The only problem I have with these books is the lack of pictures. Shouldn't I have the right to know that I'm making mud soup? Im absolutely guilty of buying recipe books based on the pictures inside.

I made some changes to her recipe but I don't deviate too far.

Vegan Black Bean Butternut Squash Soup
For about 6 people

1 1/2 cup dried black beans
5-6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 small butternut squash
1 Tbs olive oil
1-2 yellow onions, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 Tbs cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 1/2 cups veggie stock or canned veg broth
2 Tbs lemon juice
For the garnish
avocado, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese or aged cheddar (if you don't care about it being vegan of course)

1. Rinse the black beans and put them in a large pot with 7 cups of water and the garlic. Bring the beans to a boil then simmer, covered for 1 hour or until they are tender. When they are tender (not mushy!) take out 1 to 1 1/2 cup of beans with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. While your beans are cooking, cut the squash in half and place the halves cut side down on a lightly oiled pan and roast them for 45 minutes to an hour or until the squash is soft. When the squash is done take it out of the oven and let it cool slightly, then scoop the insides out into a bowl, making sure not to include any of the skin.
3. While your beans and squash are cooking, heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onions, the bay leaf and some salt. Caramelize the onions at a low heat for 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
4. When the beans are tender add the carrot, celery, and jalapeno. Simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until the carrot is soft. Add the squash, onion, cumin and veggie broth. Let cool slightly.
5. Puree the soup in batches or with an immersion blender. Taste and correct seasoning with salt as needed. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Split the soup into bowl and top with garnishes of choice!

A note on cumin: Toasting and Grinding cumin seeds sounds kinda daunting and tiring but I assure you its easy and worth it! Here is how I do it. Put a small sauce pot on the stove on medium high heat and let it warm up. Prepare your measurement of cumin seeds. When the pan is hot, take it off the stove and pour in the cumin seeds (you are still holding the pot by the handle) and shake the pot so that the seeds receive the heat but do not burn on the bottom. The seeds will start to turn a darker shade of brown but will not get black. They will release their aroma and then you know they are ready. Do be careful though - if the seeds get overly toasted they will have a bitter flavor. Pour them into a food processor as soon as they are toasted and grind them to a choppy powder.


Pang said...

hmmm, this soup doesn't look so good...

Lacey said...

yeah it looks like mud... but i can vouch that it tastes super!