Last Monday Kat and I were unable to cook-n-blog together because I had to work in the evening, so I thought I’d delay the previous week’s post so as to space out the food porn until our next food adventure. That sounds better than saying “I was too lazy to post something this week”, right? Anyway, the last time that Kat and I met I made the food that I had intended to make on our first Monday – a black bean soup using the crockpot that Kat has indefinitely lent me while she lives on the island. Crockpots are so cool. I’ve never owned one myself, and I don’t use Kat’s as much as I should, but I love the idea of being able to leave something simmering while you’re out all day without worrying about burning your whole house down. I may have mentioned this in my last post, but I’m trying really hard to live more like a poor person these days, which mostly just means cooking more in the ways that I’d like to be anyways. Meaning, less prepared foods – but to the max; i.e. I’ve been buying dried beans rather than canned ones, making my own bread in my awesome breadmachine that I got for Christmas, etc. It requires a bit more planning, but you have so much more control over your food AND it saves money.
So I wanted to make a black bean soup, and I started out by wanting to make this one, because as you all know by now, I love the SmitKit. Also, the cumin seed crema sounded amazing, and her soup just looks so…smooth. I wanted that smoothness. But then, when I actually made the soup, I didn’t follow that recipe at all, but still complained when my soup didn’t look smooth at all. Hey, I never said I was rational. I think the biggest reason why my soup didn’t look like that is that Deb over at Smitten Kitchen COOKED her beans in the crockpot all together with the soup ingredients, so all that beany cooking liquid would be in there making it darker and more voluptuous. But I cooked the beans beforehand, for reasons I just don’t know. When I went to make the soup I looked at that Smitten Kitchen recipe, and the black bean soup recipe in my copy of Veganomicon, and then kind of made up my own that was inspired by each of those recipes. Basically, I sauteed onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and some green and orange peppers and added spices and one of my reconstituted chipotle peppers from my summer CSA (the first time I actually used one of these peppers – so good!) and then dumped all that into the crockpot with some water and the beans and turned it on. Later I pureed part of the soup in my teeny tiny food processor, which reminded me how much I miss having an immersion blender. Pureeing soup in any kind of blender or food processor is just the worst. THE WORST.
I did, however, follow Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for the cumin seed crema, and I used creme fraiche and OMG why don’t I buy/make creme fraiche all the time? I want to eat this cumin creme fraiche on everything! I will be honest – while Kat and I watched 90210 I ate several spoonfuls (or actually, finger-dipfuls) of that creme fraiche all on its own, and also drizzled mass quantities of it over the cornbread I made to go with the soup. Everything and anything is a vehicle for this creme fraiche to get into my belly.
Anyways, though the soup didn’t look nearly as pretty as I may have wanted, it tasted quite good and it packed quite a spicy punch from that one tiny chipotle pepper. I had tons of leftovers and it reheated very well.
P.S. You may be thinking “That’s an awfully full glass of wine” but while I would not be opposed to drinking such a glass of wine you should know that it is actually a portion of the very delicious (though sadly not Ontario-made) Creme Brulee Stout that we drank that night, and which I have enjoyed on other occasions as well. Beer + Beans + Cornbread. Not a bad Monday. See you next week, when Kat and I put a bunch of cabbage in a bucket and see what happens.