I'VE PERFECTED MY BLACK BEAN SOUP. The recipe is for the updated version of my first book, The Indian Slow Cooker, which will be released this fall from Agate Publishing. I know that's still a few months away. So, for now, enjoy!
Black Bean Soup with Tomatillo, Roasted Corn and Jalapeno
SLOW COOKER SIZE: 5-QUART COOKING TIME: 6 HOURS ON HIGH
YIELD: 16 CUPS
3 cups dried black beans, picked over, washed, and soaked at least 2 hours
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 tomatillos, husks removed and diced
3 jalapeno peppers, roasted and chopped
2 tablespoons salt
2 heaping teaspoons hot sauce (any kind), optional
9 cups water
3 ears of corn, roasted and kernels removed
juice of 1 lime
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1. Drain beans and put them in the slow cooker.
2. In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add cumin, turmeric, and black pepper. Cook about a minute until the seeds sizzle and turn reddish brown. Add garlic and onion. Cook about a minute until the onions turn translucent. Add carrots and tomatillos. Cook another two minutes until the vegetables soften slightly. Stir well. If you can’t find tomatillos, a green Mexican fruit resembling green tomatoes, use 3 stalks of celery.
3. Add this mixture to the slow cooker along with the jalapenos, salt, hot sauce, and water. Omit the hot sauce if you don't like it too spicy, but I enjoy adding another layer of flavor. Our favorite is a habanero hot sauce, but any store-bought will do.
4. Cook on high for 6 hours. Once cooked, remove 1 cup of beans. Blend the rest of the soup until smooth either with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender. Return the removed beans to the soup and add the corn, the lime juice, and cilantro. Stir well. Serve piping hot garnished with sliced avocado, crushed tortilla chips, a pinch of grated cheese, and/or a dollop of sour cream.
Note: I roast my peppers and corn right on my gas range. You can also roast them in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes, turning in between.