A friend stopped by for lunch last Friday. I had some leftover frittata, but I was afraid that there wasn’t going to be enough, so I whipped up this soup. The recipe popped into my inbox shortly before my friend called, and I had nearly all of the ingredients on hand, so I decided to make it. I didn’t have a green pepper, but I did have a small zucchini, so I made the substitution. The soup was really good, and it was especially good considering how quickly it came together. Using the sherry is key to this recipe. Without it I imagine the soup would be bland. In order to spice the soup up a little more (I like spicy food), I added 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper which gave it a nice little kick. This soup will definitely become part of my regular soup rotation.
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Black Bean Soup with Sherry
Recipe from finecooking.com
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
Two 15-1/2-oz. cans black beans, including liquid
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1/4 cup dry sherry, preferably fino
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy-duty pot over medium heat. Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, purée the chicken broth with one can of black beans and bean liquid in a blender.
Add the cumin and oregano to the pot and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in the black bean purée and the remaining whole beans with their liquid; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pot, and simmer, stirring frequently, until the flavors are melded, about 10 minutes. Stir in the sherry and cayenne pepper (if using) and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Yield: 4 servings