I still haven’t blogged about the GREATEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER. But, it’s got to be photographed and I just haven’t gotten around to it. That’s next.
On Sunday, I made soup #2. Half of it is in the freezer with all of Soup #3 . I can’t eat two huge pots of soup on my own in a week! This is from Cooks Illustrated. Honestly my bible when it comes to cooking. I’m always hesitant to repost recipes. If we do that, what will happen to cookbooks and magazines? But, this one is so good it must be shared with the world! This is one of my favorite soups — and the one that will make me re-think the ‘no repeats’.
First, I should mention: I don’t eat pork or shellfish. So, for below I use a thick slice of turkey ham, a smoked turkey leg or often nothing. I also run the veggies through the food processor. I’m not much for mincing. And, I use a full tablespoon of red pepper flakes. Sister likes it spicy!
From Cooks Illustrated:
Makes About 9 Cups, Serving 6. Published January 1, 2005.
Dried beans tend to cook unevenly, so be sure to taste several beans to determine their doneness in step 1. For efficiency, you can prepare the soup ingredients while the beans simmer and the garnishes while the soup simmers. Though you do not need to offer all of the garnishes listed below, do choose at least a couple; garnishes are essential for this soup as they add not only flavor but texture and color as well. Leftover soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 or 4 days; reheat it in a saucepan over medium heat until hot, stirring in additional chicken broth if it has thickened beyond your liking.
|1||pound dried black beans (2 cups), rinsed and picked over|
|4||ounces ham steak , trimmed of rind|
|1/8||teaspoon baking soda|
|1||teaspoon table salt|
|3||tablespoons olive oil|
|2||large onions , chopped fine (about 3 cups)|
|1||large carrot , chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)|
|3||ribs celery , chopped fine (about 1 cup)|
|1/2||teaspoon table salt|
|5 – 6||medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)|
|1/2||teaspoon red pepper flakes|
|1 1/2||tablespoons ground cumin|
|6||cups low-sodium chicken broth|
|2||tablespoons lime juice , from 1 to 2 limes|
|minced fresh cilantro leaves|
|red onion , finely diced|
|avocado , diced medium|
- 1. FOR THE BEANS: Place beans, ham, bay, water, and baking soda in large saucepan with tight-fitting lid. Bring to boil over medium-high heat; using large spoon, skim scum as it rises to surface. Stir in salt, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer briskly until beans are tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours (if necessary, add another 1 cup water and continue to simmer until beans are tender); do not drain beans. Discard bay. Remove ham steak (ham steak darkens to color of beans), cut into 1/4-inch cubes, and set aside.
- 2. FOR THE SOUP: Heat oil in 8-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking; add onions, carrot, celery, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, pepper flakes, and cumin; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in beans, bean cooking liquid, and chicken broth. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 30 minutes.
- 3. TO FINISH THE SOUP: Ladle 1 1/2 cups beans and 2 cups liquid into food processor or blender, process until smooth, and return to pot. Stir together cornstarch and water in small bowl until combined, then gradually stir about half of cornstarch mixture into soup; bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, to fully thicken. If soup is still thinner than desired once boiling, stir remaining cornstarch mixture to recombine and gradually stir mixture into soup; return to boil to fully thicken. Off heat, stir in lime juice and reserved ham; ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately, passing garnishes separately.