With Lance being Catholic, Friday’s during Lent in our house are meat-free. I love using this as a challenge to try new recipes. This one happens to be of my own creation! What this recipe lacks in difficulty, it more than makes up for in deliciousness. The onions and garlic add to the savory flavor and the cumin gives it that distinctive Mexican authenticity. Making your own fried tortilla strips is so quick and really worth it for the crunch factor. Plus, they make a great little bed for the pillow of sour cream that you’re going want to add on top of it.
Julie’s Black Bean Soup
• 2 15 ounce cans of black beans (do not drain or rinse)
• 1 cup of chopped onion
• 1 garlic clove, chopped
• 1 tsp. ground cumin
• chopped green onion (for garnish)
• sour cream (for garnish)
• 1-2 large tortillas (flour or corn, you be the boss)
• canola oil (for frying)
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in the medium size pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. There’s not need to chop these any special way, since you’ll be pulverizing them shortly.
Once the onions are translucent and the garlic smells delicious, add the two cans of black bean (remember, don’t drain or rinse them). Stir to combine. Once the beans have been heated through, remove the pot from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Once you reach your desired smoothness, return the pot to the stove top, and lower the heat to simmer.
Now it’s time for the crispy tortilla strips! Cut the tortilla in half and then into long strips (you don’t want them TOO long). Heat canola oil in a pot over medium-high heat. This is where I should tell you to heat the oil to a certain numerical degree, but I don’t actual own one of those fancy thermometers. So I just keep cranking up the heat until a little splash of water placed in the oil starts to sizzle. I like to air on the side of lower heat, or else those poor tortillas burn in a flash. Working in batches, fry your tortillas and drain on a paper towel. You can season them with salt at this point if you so desire.
Serve the soup in a bowl topped with the crispy tortillas, sour cream, chopped green onion and a healthy dousing of your hot sauce of choice.
In keeping with our DIY theme today, I’ve paired this Black Bean Soup with our own homebrewed Jalapeño Cream Ale. We like to dabble in home brewing around here. Our typical method is to order a kit from Northern Brewer and doctor it up in some way. We only ever make 1 gallon batches, which provides a lot less commitment for these little liquid fermentation experiments. We’ve done a golden ale with beets, a pilsner with horseradish and tomato water, and this beer: a Cream Ale with Jalapeño. We followed the directions for making the beer, but added chopped jalapeños (seeds and all, we like heat) during the boil. The peppers were strained out prior to transferring to the glass carboy for fermentation. You can absolutely smell the spice when you put your nose to it. The kick of heat this otherwise refreshing beer is a great partner-in-crime to the Black Bean Soup.
I can think of nothing that says DIY band AND is just asking to be paired with this meal than the Gulag Orkestar album by Beirut. Zach Condon (aka-Beirut) recorded this album almost entirely in his bedroom, and played all of the MANY instruments himself. The album is this lively raucus baltic sounding thing. Crank up the volume, pour yourself a beer and let the festive horn sounds take you away to another time and place (you know, all while staying right at home)!