commodorified: A cartoon of a worried looking woman in a chef's hat (cooking for people who don't)
[personal profile] commodorified
I am fairly sure that a version of this exists in every kitchen in the Southwest US that does cooking for large groups, especially vegetarian or part vegetarian groups. I learnt it at Royal in 2000 or so and have made it periodically ever since. It is somewhere between reasonably inexpensive and dirt cheap, it is easy, it is fast (if made with canned beans or once the beans are dealt with), it is remarkably adaptable, and it is, in my opinion, very good.

With a salad, it's a good lunch or light supper. It can easily be doubled, quadrupled, or halved on the fly, once you're familiar with the basic desired results.

Base:

Two cans of black turtle beans with liquid or 250 ml dry, soaked and cooked until tender, liquid retained.
Three large cans of diced tomatoes
One tetra pack vegetable broth
Two cooking onions, diced
Six cloves garlic, diced.

Optional: 1/2 to 1 lb stew beef or stew pork (or ground beef or ground pork, if need be), marinated overnight in the salsa of your choice. I like to use verde. Can also be simmered in the salsa separately and added to bowls at the table, if feeding vegetarians and omnivores.

Spice:
Adobo seasoning, 2T or to taste.
Ancho pepper, 1 T or to taste.
Cumin, 1 T or to taste.
Mexican Oregano, 2T or to taste.
Salt, to taste.

(Measurements as given will make a medium spicy soup. If making more or less soup season cautiously and taste your results a lot: it is almost never a good idea to casually double spices or salt. Try half as much again and then edge up higher. Other peppers and other chili mixes can also be used if you don't have or like adobo/ancho.)

Vegetables: (omit any which are unavailable or disliked, though if you have to omit more than two this may not be the recipe for you; at some point it gets kind of thin and bland without veggies)
One bunch collard greens or chard or kale, ribbon cut or chopped finely.
2-4 C frozen corn
2-4 C cooked diced squash
2-4 stalks chopped celery
2-4 chopped carrots

Simmer until all ingredients are tender and flavours are well-mixed: 1 hour if starting with tender, cooked beans and no meat, 2-3 hours if starting with soaked beans and raw meat.

Toppings: (to be added to each bowl at the table)

Red, yellow or green bell pepper, raw, sliced or chopped.
Queso, crumbled
Cilantro, chopped
Tortillas, flour or corn, or cornchips, for dipping. You can also put the cornchips or corn tortillas, ripped into bite-sized pieces, into the soup about half an hour before serving; they will take on the consistency of pasta, and keep a very good flavour.

Date: 2012-04-20 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] alexbayleaf
I make something similar that goes like this:

* 1 onion, diced
* some garlic
* some oil

saute til onion is translucent

* 1-2 cans black beans
* 1-2 can tomatoes

(1 can of each for a small family meal, 2 cans for a party.)

Add, then stick-blend just a little bit, leaving plenty of chunks (you just want to puree a few of the beans for thickness). Then add:

* veg stock

... until it's the right soupy consistency. Spice with:

* chili (whatever kind you have on hand and like)
* cumin
* oregano
* salt

Cook til done.

For toppings, I offer:

* avocado
* home-made pico de gallo (tomato, white or green onion, jalapeno, lime juice, coriander/cilantro, salt) OR some subset of the constituent parts, individually (eg. tomatoes, jalapenos, lime wedges) depending on what's handy
* grated cheese (mild cheddar, monterey jack, something along those lines)
* sour cream
* tortillas or corn chips

So basically the same thing but without the added vegies. I don't find mine's thin or flavourless, but that might be because i partially blend it and get the beans to thicken the soup. Oh, and if I cook my beans from dry, I include some of their juice, which also fills out the flavour.



Date: 2012-04-20 04:46 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] alexbayleaf
I find that the fatty toppings (avocado, cheese, sour cream) are pretty much a must with this version. It's not that it's thin otherwise, but it's kind of ... dry or gritty, I guess? I feel that way quite often about legume-based things. They seem to work best when there is some fat to smooth out the mouth-feel.

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