I've found that the love of black beans is pretty universal here in our house, and as mentioned previously I'm working on: 1. More soup and 2. (previously un-announced) more slow cooker recipes. TA DA -- the perfect marriage of both.
Now spicy is an issue -- and this recipe originally called for chipoltes -- which is too much for most of us. So I substituted roasted pablanos -- I think it still needs a bit of a kick, next time I think I may put a few dashes of hot sauce --
Black Bean Soup
Yields 6 main course servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium-size red onions, chopped
1 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 16-ounce package dried black beans
1 pablano pepper (roasted for about 12 minutes in 350 degree oven) seeded and chopped
7 cups hot water (I just used very hot tap water)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and both bell peppers and sauté until beginning to brown, about eight minutes. Add garlic and cumin; stir one minute. Transfer mixture to 6-quart slow cooker. Add beans and chipotles, then 7 cups hot water. Cover and cook on high until beans are very tender, about 3 hours. [See note up top.]
Use the wand blender to puree until smooth. Stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste; we found we needed more salt. Ladle soup into bowls. Spoon dollop of toasted cumin seed cream (below) over each bowl and serve.
Do ahead: This soup keeps great in the fridge, and even thickens a bit. In a good way!
Toasted Cumin Seed Crème Fraîche
Hacked from Bobby Flay
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
1 cup crema or crème fraîche (or make your own crema, make your own crème fraîche, or swap sour cream or yogurt, for a close-enough taste)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Place the cumin in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Toast until lightly golden brown. Place in spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind until coarse. Stir it into the creme and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Could have sworn I got this from The Bitten Word -- but can't find it there now...