Not to state the obvious, but you know what’s fantastic? Having friends who can cook. I’m on a bit of a college-reunion tour this month and have spent a chunk of every week with friends who are excellent, excellent cooks. This means I have a bit of a back-log of new recipes to share, but I’m going to start with this one from Robin, who you’ve already met.
This soup is the most Robin-ish dish I can think of as I’m pretty sure her favorite foods are all numbingly spicy, deeply smokey, or bracingly bitter. This soup is on the more balanced end but plays with all those flavors. It’s also the best black bean soup recipe I’ve come across to date. I suggest you make it immediately.
Smokey Coffee Black Bean Soup:
Robin’s original recipe called for blending the soup and using duck bacon. I like a chunky black bean soup so I skipped the blending it. I think duck bacon would be awesome, but if you live outside NYC it can be hard to get your hands on so I used turkey bacon. I’m sure regular bacon would also be good. If you use a higher-fat bacon you can cook your onions and peppers in the fat it renders. Turkey bacon, tragically, does not render fat so you have to add some butter.
– 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
– 6 cloves garlic
– 1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
– 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
– 8 oz. turkey bacon
– 2 15 oz cans black beans
– 1 15 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes (chopped, if yours don’t come chopped)
– 1 tbsp butter
– 1 qt chicken broth
– 1 tbsp. cumin
– 1 tsp sumac
– 1 1/2 tsp hot paprika
– 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 1/2 cups strong black coffee
– 3 bay leaves
– Chopped green onions, cilantro, lime, and drained yogurt or sour cream for serving
* Cook bacon in pan, remove, and cool on paper towels. When cool, chop coarsely.
* Melt butter in large pan over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
* Add bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes until soft and beginning to brown.
* Add garlic, jalapeno, and cumin to pot. Stir until fragrant.
* Add 1/2 tsp salt, rest of spices, and cocoa powder.
* Add chopped bacon, tomatoes and their liquid, beans and their liquid, broth, coffee, and bay leaves. Bring to boil.
* Reduce to simmer and cook over low heat for 1-2 hours until soup is quite stew-y.
* Remove bay leaves and serve with chopped green onions, cilantro, yogurt or sour cream, and lime wedges.