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Black Bean Soup

1 tb Safflower oil
1 Onion, chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Stalk Celery, with leaves, chopped
1 lb Black beans, washed and soaked for several hours
6 c Water or vegetable stock
1 Bay leaf
1 ts Summer savory
1 pn Thyme
1 pn Sage
1/2 ts Celery seed
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice of one lemon
2 tb Dry Sherry

Croutons and lemon slices for garnish. Chopped fresh parsley for garnish Yogurt or creme fraiche for garnish

Heat safflower oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven and saute onion with 2 cloves of garlic and the celery until onion is tender.

Drain beans and add to pot, along with water or stock, bay leaf, summer savory, thyme, sage, and celery seed. Bring to a boil, reduce head, and simmer for 1 hour. Add remaining garlic and sea salt and simmer another hour, covered.

Remove bay leaf. Puree half the soup in a blend or through a food mill and return to pot. Correct seasoning and add freshly gournd pepper to taste. Stir in lemon juice and sherry, heat through, and serve, garnishing with yogurt or creme fraiche, croutons, lemon slices, and parsley.

This can be frozen, and will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.

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