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Recipe: Caribbean Black Bean Soup With Roasted Garlic and Tomatoes

Serves 6-8

Follow general instructions on cooking the black beans, reserving beans and broth to add to this soup.

6 garlic cloves, unpeeled

Olive oil

4 whole fresh or canned plum tomatoes, with juice


½ pound black valentine or black beans with cooking liquid

½ medium yellow or white onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped

1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Freshly ground pepper

Sour cream, optional garnish

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced, optional garnish

Fresh cilantro leaves, optional garnish

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.

Put the garlic cloves on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Put the tomatoes in a baking dish. (If using fresh tomatoes, cut them in half and put them cut side down in the dish.) Season with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Roast the tomatoes and garlic in the oven until soft, fragrant and brown, about 20 minutes.

Place the beans and their broth in a soup pot and warm over low heat.

Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, chili and carrot and saute until fragrant and beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes.

Add the onion mixture, cumin, oregano, cayenne and chicken or vegetable broth to the beans.

Peel the roasted garlic cloves. Chop the garlic cloves and tomatoes coarsely and add to the beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook till the vegetables are soft and the flavors are blended, about 15 minutes. Let the soup cool slightly.

Transfer about half the soup to a blender. Blend until smooth. Return to the soup to the pot, stir and adjust the seasoning.

Ladle the soup into warm bowls and garnish with sour cream, avocado slices and cilantro, if desired.

Adapted from “Heirloom Beans,” by Steve Sandoz and Vanessa Barrington


Dried and true: Beans make healthy, tasty, cheap comfort food

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sometimes there’s nothing more comforting than a meltingly tender bowl of beans — whether as soup, side dish or cassoulet. The best starting point for those meals is dried beans, one of the most frugal items at the grocery store and healthiest forms of protein. The problem is, dried beans scare home cooks. They require forethought because most recipes call …

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