Sunday, January 15, 2012

Black bean and corn soup

       By now week 2 of the quarter is done, and I've learned three important things:
  1. At the most optimistic point of the newspaper production process, when everyone's on a roll and it looks as though things may actually wrap up before 3 a.m., the Internet will go out. Murphy's Law demands it. On the bright side, you will get a two-hour break in which to play Medical Terminology Hangman ("It's 'concha bullosa'? How did I not see that before?") while the server is rebooted.
  2. When the difference between the dew point and the ambient temperature is less than five degrees Fahrenheit, you can see your breath. So apparently the dew point of my kitchen is pretty high, because the ambient temperature sure isn't much to brag about and I can see every letter H I say.
  3. Never underestimate the power of good friends to make your life beautiful, and never forget to tell them how much you appreciate them. I recommend pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins (recipe coming), but in a pinch, this soup would work too. Admittedly it would be a little trickier to transport and eat, but just think: After a long day of making phone calls or sitting in lectures or delivering milk or whatever it is that you do, which would you prefer to have delivered to your doorstep, a muffin or a bowl of hot soup?
     Actually ... that's a tough choice. I might prefer the muffin. But since I have pictures and a recipe here for the soup, we'll go with that.

Black bean and corn soup
(A mix of this recipe from the Pioneer Woman and a recipe from this cookbook which is a great book, by the way; I highly recommend it)

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans black black beans, drained
  • ½ c. frozen sweet corn
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. curry powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground red pepper
  • 6 c. chicken broth
  •  1 c. sour cream
  • 1 T. lime juice (about 1 lime's worth)  

  1. Heat oil in large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until slightly translucent. Add bell peppers and cook a few minutes longer.
  2. Add broth, spices, beans, and corn. Cook 30 minutes.
  3. Take off heat and mix in sour cream and lime juice. Mash soup slightly with potato masher to vary texture.
  4. Serve with more sour cream and/or chopped green onions.

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