17 December 2008

Bright Star Soup

Today I was talking to my neighbor Dawn and she told me how when the snow plows came through yesterday she ran outside and begged the driver to plow the snow into the cul-de-sac in a big pile. She said he smiled and took a really long time to make a good mound, patting it down in between scoops. Dawn has four really awesome boys, and I love watching them play. They're always outside using their imaginations in cool ways.

So today after school, Momo, Cecy and Lula put on full snow regalia and played from 3.15 until 7 pm, until it was pitch black outside, on the mound with Dawn's boys. They built a tunnel through the mound and a short tobaggin run, and who knows what else. Moses was in heaven getting to play with the big boys. Their extended no-maintenance play time enabled me to write down a recipe for my favorite soup, the one I've been making for years but only today formalized into a written recipe.

Winter Black Bean/Roasted Lemon Soup

AKA: Bright Star Black Bean Soup

1 heart of celery, including leaves, chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 med. Onion, diced
2 med. Carrots, diced
2 med. Potatoes, peeled and diced
4 T. olive oil
3 cans black beans/12 oz. dry beans, cooked
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 Lemon
1 T. smoked paprika*
1 T. chili powder
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
sour cream for garnish

In the winter I rely heavily on beans and canned tomatoes. My family and I adore this soup, which is savory and hearty, but meatless, and brightened by the lemon juice and roast lemon slices. (I love how we don’t get as many fresh veggies in winter, but the citrus comes into make up for it like a bright star against a dark night.)
Soften diced veggies and three cloves of crushed garlic in 3 T. olive oil. Season veggies with paprika, chili powder, s &p and cook for one minute more.
Add stewed tomatoes, (in packing juices), drained and rinsed beans and six cups liquid (your choice of stock or water—I often use water to keep the cost down.) Bring soup to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Finish the soup by puréeing in a food processor and blender in batches. If you like it a bit chunky, you can purée only half. Stir in the juice of one half of the fresh lemon to brighten, adjust s&p if needed, and garnish with one lemon slice (it can get too sour if you add more) and a t. of sour cream.

Roasted Lemon Garnish
While the soup is simmering, wash and slice the other half lemon into half rounds. On a baking sheet, toss the lemon slices, three cloves of garlic and 1 T. olive oil together with sea salt (coarse ground is pretty and adds texture if you have it).
Roast on high heat until the lemons and garlic are browned and carmelized.
*The smoked paprika makes it taste like you’ve had a ham-bone simmering in the soup, sans the meat.

Here it is. Feel free to add any suggestions for making it even more delicious in the comments section:


Marni C. said...

I made this soup today and made some modifications, but I doubt it was more delicious. I had some roasted yam from yesterday (I'm obsessed w/roasting vegetables in my big cast iron pan for iron content) so I pureed them into the soup, and added cumin. I didn't have any lemons, but this was a tasty soup. I also made rice and poured my soup over a small mound of rice. GC also made Guinness ginger bread.

The Fam said...

i'm running to the store right now for some guiness and yams.