Tuesday, December 30, 2008

holiday entertaining, exhibit b

Smoky Black Bean & Rice Soup with Garlic Toasts
bowl and stemless wine glass, Target

This is a delicious, hearty winter soup that's pretty easy. It can be made vegetarian/vegan if you leave out the bacon or use a bacon substitute and use vegetable stock. (from Rachel Ray's Expresslane Meals)

2 tbsp. olive oil
3 bacon slices, chopped (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 15-oz. cans black beans
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. hot sauce
coarse salt and coarse black pepper
1 15-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 qt. chicken/vegetable stock
1 cup white rice

Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then add the bacon (if using) and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to render the fat. Add the bay leaf, onions, and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes to soften the veggies. Add the corn and 1 can of black beans and their juice. Drain the other can, then add half the can of beans. Mash the remaining beans in the can with a fork to make a paste out of them, then scrape them into the soup pot--this will make the soup thick. Season with the coriander, chili powder, ground chili, Worcestershire, and the hot sauce. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and stock, then cover the pot and raise the heat to bring the soup to a boil. Add the rice and cook uncovered over a rolling simmer until the rice is tender but has a little bite left to it, about 15 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and serve.

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