Sort of Black Bean Soup

Greetings from the plague household. Last week James was off work ill for two days so I was fully expecting the germs to cross over. It took a while but eventually they did, so now I’m sporting a very fashionable cold, if sinus problems are your thing.

My mum (hi mum!) was meant to be coming over for dinner and to stay the night so I had put some black beans into the fridge to soak. I had planned on making Black Bean and Portobello Feijoada from Viva Vegan, which tastes amazing but is quite labor intensive so in the end I had to cancel my mums visit (sorry mum!) and work out something else to do with them which wouldn’t involve long periods of time stood over a hot stove.

The answer was, as always, the slow cooker. It’s the Jubilee weekend here in England so a lot of the shops are closed (not that I felt like leaving the house as I had become surgically attached to a packet of tissues) so the recipe is another one of those “chuck stuff in the pot and see what happens” experiments.

The black beans had been in for a loooonnnnggg soak (24 hoursish) so I figured they wouldn’t need the recommended 8 hours on low to cook (2 hours on high did it)  and I know It’s in no way traditional – there’s a tin of baked beans in there as there were no tinned tomatoes, but with some rice/radioactive looking cheese/my best friend hot sauce it satisfied the spicy bean craving and left me feeling a bit better.

It tasted even better this morning when the mixture had thickened up a bit and the flavour had developed served with some scrambled eggs. Not as good as the planned feijoada but not bad for an experiment.

Some Sort of Black Bean Soup
(Serves 4 for when you are ill and can’t get to the shops so have to make the best of what you’ve got in the cupboard)

  • 1 cup /250g of black turtle beans soaked for as long as possible
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 chopped white onion
  • 1/2 chopped red onion (or another white onion, the red needed using!)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 cups / 240ml water
  • 1 chopped stick of celery
  • 1 tin of baked beans/ or chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 stock cube
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • hot sauce, rice and cheese to serve
  1. Drain and rinse the beans, put them into the slow cooker with the 3 cups of water. Add the bay leaves, onion, celery and garlic. Switch cooker to high and cook until the beans are tender. (For me this was 2 hours as the beans had soaked for 24 hours but check them until they are done)
  2. Remove the bay leaves and blend the mixture but leave some whole beans
  3. Add the baked beans (or tinned tomatoes), half a stock cube, the lime juice and the liquid smoke.
  4. Add the chilli powder, oregano, cumin, salt and paprika. 
  5. Cook on low for another 2 hours, check seasoning and serve with the hot sauce, rice and cheese.
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