I still have a ridiculous amount of dried beans from my old boss in Maryland. That means they are about 3 years old. How long do dried beans survive for? The internet tells me that they can last for years but may require longer cooking time to soften. I did not find this to be the case, but I also soaked the beans for like 10 hours because I started them right when I woke up this morning. So by about 6:00 my 3-year-old beans were ready to make into a soup. This came together easily and, although it cooks for an hour, it was relatively hands-off. I did make the crema (using sour cream instead of actual crema) and the hard boiled egg. I know it's weird, but this is not the first time I have put hard-boiled egg into soup. And it worked very well and was very tasty. I must be lacking in protein lately to be constantly craving beans and eggs. Weird, right? Oh well. This was really good. It's a nice, solid black bean soup recipe. I'd keep it around but I have a feeling there are better recipes out there, and when I find them, my dried beans will still be waiting.
Black Bean Soup
Cooking Light, October 2009
1 cup dried black beans
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil -- divided
3/4 cup chopped onion
7 garlic cloves -- minced and divided
2 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1/4 cup no-salt-added tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
4 ounces chopped green chiles
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 jalapeño pepper -- seeded
1/4 cup crema Mexicana
3 hard-cooked large eggs -- peeled and finely chopped
Fresh cilantro leaves
1. Sort and wash beans, and place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water; cover and let stand for 8 hours. Drain beans.
2. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes, stirring often. Add 5 garlic cloves; cook 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beans, broth, and next 7 ingredients (through chiles); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender. Let stand 10 minutes.
3. Place half of bean mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid; secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid. Process until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining mixture. Return soup to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring often.
4. Finely chop 1 cup cilantro and jalapeño. Combine 2 tablespoons oil, 2 garlic cloves, cilantro, jalapeño, and crema. Ladle 1 1/4 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each with 2 tablespoons crema. Sprinkle soup with eggs. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired.