Sunday, July 20, 2008

Spicy Black Bean Soup with Andouille Sausage

The ingredient which really makes this soup is definitely its chili powder, especially when coupled with the relatively cooler flavors of fresh cilantro, cumin, garlic and oregano. Andouille sausage and fresh basil from our kitchen garden also added something special.

Still, the memorable difference between this spicy, satisfying soup and other more run-of-the-mill black bean soups is definitely its kick! From the first taste you will feel warmth begin to emanate throughout your body. While the spicing isn’t hot enough to bring tears to your eyes, it is definitely vibrant enough to put a genuine smile on your face.

To make sure that each of your guests enjoys the perfect amount of seasoning to match their individual preference, serve this black bean soup with a topping of sliced avocado, sharp cheddar cheese and/or sour cream. This works well either added directly to individual portions or (more casually) passed around the dinner table. Sour cream will often entice timid souls who are wary of hot foods - enhancing their enjoyment without diminishing the zesty essence of your delicious dinner.

Spicy Black Bean Soup with Andouille Sausage

What You’ll Need:

Olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp minced fresh cilantro
2 tsp fresh basil, minced
1 tsp oregano
2 cans black beans (15 oz each)
3 tsp chicken bouillon ( = 3 cubes)
3 cups water
2 stalks celery, minced
12 ounces gluten free Andouille sausage (Wellshire Farms)
3 large fresh tomatoes ( = 2 cups chopped)
½ lime (juice only)
2 tbsp tomato paste
Grated sharp cheddar cheese
Thinly sliced avocado
Organic sour cream
Sea salt (to taste)
Fresh ground pepper (to taste)

How It Works:

Pour approx 2 tbsp olive oil in bottom of a stainless steel 3 quart pot, heat at medium temp. Add chopped onions, stir occasionally. Cook until translucent (a few minutes). Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, black pepper, cilantro and basil and saut̩ until garlic and herbs are fragrant Рsomewhere between 90 seconds and 2 minutes. Add chicken bouillon, water and black beans and cook partially covered between 15 and 20 minutes.

Slice Andouille sausage thinly and saut̩ in a separate pan with olive oil and minced celery. Add sausage, celery, lime juice, salt and pepper to the black bean mixture and turn down heat to low. Simmer for another 10 Р15 minutes or so.

After you ladle your soup into bowls, top with the aforementioned avocado, tomatoes, grated cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Serves 6. We enjoyed golden brown polenta on the side.

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