Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rosie Makes Black Bean Soup.

It's Sunday morning and I'm lazy. That means soup or bread today. Both are leisurely activities and will keep me occupied. I'm opting for the soup today. The cool nip in the October air is calling out soup to me. Besides, Mr. Hawthorne is in charge of bread making now. Ever since he got a bread machine for his birthday, he's been cranking out 1-pound whole wheat loaves that are the perfect size for the two of us. So, outside of the time it took Mr. Hawthorne to make a loaf of bread, I made a soul-satisfying black bean soup, with my homemade seasoned tortilla chips, a fresh salsa, avocado slices, diced cactus, and Mr. Hawthorne's Salsa Verde. He recently found huge tomatillos at the produce stand which he brought home to make more salsa verde plus to save the seeds to plant next year. Damn Irene.
I'm looking around the kitchen to see what I have. Tomatoes, tomatillos, and jalapenos.
And pig stock. I'll have to check back posts around September 2009 and see exactly what porcine creature I was extracting every bit of goodness out of. Ahhh. The pig stock was from my friend Celine. Since I'm going with black beans here, I thought the pig stock would give it a nice earthiness. It did. Now if you don't have your own pig stock, you could substitute beef or chicken, but the pig gave it a more complex flavor and a more interesting dimension.
I set the pig stock in a hot water bath to thaw out and cooked about 2 cups black beans. First I rinsed the beans and put them in salted water. Bring to a boil. Boil about 25-30 minutes, then drain and rinse beans and refresh water. Bring to boil again and continue at low simmer for another 30-40 minutes. Rinse and set aside. Let the pig stock heat up. I tasted this and it's piggy. Hammy. Earthy. I likey. While the beans were cooking, I made a quick salsa.
1/2 red onion, chopped 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, juiced, and chopped 1 tomatillo, peeled and chopped 1 jalapeno 1 TB cider vinegar 1 TB sugar salt and pepper cilantro
I finely chopped the onion, tomatillo, and tomato. And I minced the jalapeno - ribs and seeds all. I like the extra heat.
About a tablespoon of sugar.
And a tablespoon of cider vinegar.
Freshly ground salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate. I'll go out to the garden later and pick the cilantro for this.
I realized I was out of Tostitos Scoops, so I'm making my own tortilla wedges. Cut a stack of tortillas- flour or corn - into eighths. I prefer the flour for these.
Rosie will be Semi-Ho'ing it today. She's using packaged seasonings. To substitute, you could use cumin, oregano, cayenne, cilantro, saffron, granulated garlic, and onion powder. I melted one-half stick of butter along with a few tablespoons of olive oil on a baking sheet in a 300 degree oven.
Add in the seasonings. Mix well.
Coat each wedge in the butter mixture.
Bake in a 300 degree oven for 40 minutes. Turn and bake an additional 40 minutes, or until nice and crisp and lightly browned. Turn off oven and leave in while you work on the soup.
Four ounces of bacon.
Cut into small dice.
Start frying.
While the bacon was sweating it out a bit, I peeled this ugly thang and cut it into a tiny dice.
Add in the diced taters and hover over the pot. You want to take a very thin spatula and scrape up the potato pieces which are starting to brown on the bottom.
Keep cooking and scraping. You don't want the starchy potato pieces to burn, but you do want a nice brown.
Continue browning.
This took about 10 minutes to get to this point. Season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Stop right here if you want some dynamite hash browns. Throw in a sunny-side up egg, a piece of toast, and you got a breakfast right here. I must admit, I had a few spoonfuls of this. Good stuff. I could've eaten the whole thing but I got soup to make.
One half large onion. Four garlic cloves.
Chop the onions and garlic and ...
... add to the bacon/potato mixture with a little more butter.
Cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add in about 3 TB flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring.
Slowly add in 2 cups of the heated pig stock.
Let heat, but not come to a boil. Cook about 30 minutes.
I added in half the beans to the rest of the pig stock (2 cups).
Immersion blend.
Pour the pureed mixture into the soup.
Add in the rest of the beans.
I added in two fresh bay leaves and skimmed off the surface of the soup. Continue cooking, not letting it come to a simmer, and let it thicken, skimming if needed. About two - three more hours.
I added in a teaspoon of cumin.
A teaspoon of chili powder.
Teaspoon of oregano.
Because I had it, I added in my chicken jelly. It's been thawed out in the fridge for about a week and I've already used it several times. Time to finish it off.
We had a pork loin left from lunch the other day and I sliced that very thinly.
Then cut the pork into thin strips.
Right before serving, add in the pork and let it heat through I'm liking the texture of the soup now. It's cooked down and thickened quite a bit. Now, for the accoutrements: Out to the garden to pick cilantro. And scallions.
Guess who's joining us?
That would be Glowria. She loves seeing herself on the World Wide Web. Nopales pad.
Peel the nopales and cut into small dice.
Diced nopales and sliced avocado. I like the juxtaposition of textures. Soft and crunchy cactus pad with a slightly tart pepperish flavor against the creamy smooth texture and rich buttery flavor of the avocado.
I sliced half an avocado, added the juice of a lime for flavor and to keep it from browning. Salt and pepper and some chopped red onion and cilantro.
Add in the chopped scallions.
Salsa is cold and hot and refreshing.
Black bean soup with Mr. Hawthorne's freshly made Salsa Verde, Rosie's Salsa, Rosie's Avocado Relish, and Seasoned Tortilla Chips.
I was very happy with this. This was a wonderfully hearty soup to welcome fall with. Strips of tender pork with a flavorful starch-thickened soup highlighted by the crispness of a Salsa Verde, the coolness of a Salsa Roja with the bite of jalapeno, the smoothness of avocado, the crunch of the tortilla, and the occasional pop of a cilantro leaf.


Marilyn said...

Such interesting flavors. I can see them all!

DH said...

OHHHHHhhHHHHhhhhhhh my gosh. That is all my favorite stuff....wow. That looks so delicious and satisfying.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Come home, DH, and let Mommie make you some!

Mar, you back on the bottle again? ;)