Posts tagged ‘black beans’

October 18, 2011

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

This one is adapted only a little bit from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.  And let us say, this is more worth it than you can imagine.  Do it. Roast the pumpkin.  Enjoy the soup.

First though, roast and peel the pumpkin.  We did this in the morning so that it was all set to go for the soup that night.

1. Half your pumpkin

2. Clean the seeds and strings from inside the pumpkin.  You can save these to roast and eat as a snack.  Put a little bit of water into a baking pan, and set both halves of pumpkin cut-side down in the pan.

3. Roast at 375 for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Ours was probably a 5 lb pumpkin.  For larger or smaller ones the time will differ.  The pumpkin is done when you can easily slide a fork through the skin.    The pumpkin will have a darkened, shriveled look to the skin, but fear not.

4. When it has cooled to be safe to touch, simply peel back that skin with your hands.  It comes off quite easily and can be fairly satisfying to peel.  Then you have your peeled, bright yellow pumpkin all ready to puree.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup minced shallot
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4  butter
4 cups beef broth
2 1/4 cups pureed roasted pumpkin
1/2 cup white wine

Fresh cilantro for garnish

In a food processor coarsely puree beans and tomatoes.

In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. Stir in broth, pumpkin, and wine until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 35 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Garnish with fresh cilantro.

March 15, 2011

Saffron Rice

Faced with minimal veggies and a need for dinner, I looked through our cookbook collection and came across this recipe in Veganomicon.  Since we happen to be lucky enough to have a lot of saffron around–A’s mother works in Afghanistan and brought some back for us–this seemed like a good choice.


Saffron Garlic Rice

1 3/4 cup water

1 veggie bouillon cube (I used 1 can veggie broth-which is actually only 1 3/4 cup of broth, even though the can label says it is 2 cups)

pinch of saffron threads (5-6 threads)

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 cloves minced garlic

1 small yellow onion

1 cup white rice

Pinch of ground coriander (I used a large pinch)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds


  1. In a medium sauce, boil the water/stock (if you’re using of bouillon dissolve it now).  Turn off the heat, add the saffron and set aside.
  2. Preheat a pot over medium heat.  Saute the garlic in the oil just until it starts to turn golden and softens.  About 3-4 minutes.  Next, add the onion and continue to saute until the onion is translucent, about 5-6 minutes.  Add the rice (uncooked) and stir for a minute.  This helps the rice adsorb the flavors.
  3. Now add the saffron broth water and boil it.  Stir the rice once and turn down heat and cover.  Let simmer 20-25 minutes until the rice is nice and tender and the liquid is gone.
  4. Let the rice stand for 10 minutes off the heat, then fluff it up with a fork and serve.


We ate this with black beans and “Spanish” seasonings and hot sauce (oregano, cumin, Spanish paprika, lots of black pepper)



February 11, 2011

Friday Night Food Extravaganza

(for us, anyway)

It is seventeen degrees out, making this a more mild evening after several very cold days, and we just watched an unexpected fireworks display out our back window.   Now, to celebrate the end of the week, we’re making a long, drawn-out, slightly complex meal, beginning with dry beans to be cooked and ending three hours later with our bellies full of beer-glazed black beans and sweet potato chips.

Particularly exciting for tonight: we have garlic given to us from our friends at Free Bird Farm.  When we first came to this part of New York, it was working at Free Bird Farm for a summer.   After a garlic harvest of thirty-thousand heads in six days we dreamed about garlic.  Literally, dreamed we were harvesting.  For months it haunted me, reminding me of how, that week, the nearly two-month drought finally broke and we worked in the pouring rain, so deep in the garlic we stopped smelling it at all.  The garlic harvest at Free Bird ultimately inspired Garlic Harvest Studio.  It is a treat now to eat some of Free Bird’s garlic with our beans.

Beer-Glazed Beans

We soaked dry beans for about five hours then cooked them for an hour to begin this recipe.  We soaked two cups dry but it turned out to be slightly more than the three cups we needed once it was cooked. So, the recipe, based off the one in our favorite How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

Olive oil

1 chopped onion

1 head garlic

1 cup beer

3 cups cooked black beans

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoons tomato paste

salt and pepper

  1. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil and add 1 chopped onion and cook until soft.
  2. Add a small head of chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Finally all the other ingredients.
  4. Bring to bubbling and then cooked uncovered until the liquid has reduced and thickened.










Sweet Potato Chips

Neutral oil, sweet potatoes, salt and pepper

1.  Wash and peel the sweet potatoes
2.  Slice the sweet potatoes into thin even discs.









3.  Fill a deep saucepan with 3 inches of oil and heat until it begins to boil.  Don’t let it gets much hotter than that because it could combust.  Also, canola or sunflower is better than olive oil since olive oil has a lower burning temperature and will smoke at this point.

4.  To test if the oil is the right temperature, toss and small piece of bread it.  If it sinks and absorbs the oil, turn up the heat a littler and try again.  If it floats to the top right away and begins to brown on the outside, you’re ready to add the chips.
5.  Add the chips carefully and cook until lightly browned then flip with a metal spatula and repeat with the other side.  It should take about 3-5 minutes, but the longer you go the faster they will cook since the pan is likely getting hotter.










When a batch of chips is done take them out carefully with the metal spatula and lay them on rags, paper towels, or napkins to soak up the extra oil.