Monday, January 2, 2012

Southern New Year

Happy New Year!  Since I am from the South, the first day of the year's meal plans usually involve very traditional fare - beans of some sort (preferably black eyed peas), cornbread, and egg rolls (because I don't like steamed cabbage with sausage).  Ok, the egg rolls have nothing to do with southern tradition; I just like egg rolls and it's a great way to justify eating them on New Year's.  Typically my mom would make pinto beans.   Over the past few years we've all enjoyed 15 bean soup so that the Black eyed peas are covered.  I'm pretty sure that like all New Year's food traditions, these southern foods started with superstition; but  my family isn't superstitious.  It's just a fun little tradition we keep.  Plus, since January is usually when Winter really starts hitting us, this meal is very cozy and welcoming.  This year, I broke tradition completely and did not eat any of my southern favorites, but I thought I would share a recipe with you that I have tried recently that is very delicious.  I highly recommend it, and hope that you give this a try the next time you need a new soup recipe to add to your culinary repertoire.

Black Bean Soup with Jalapeno Salsa

Note: I modified this a bit when I tried it.  I added all of the salsa ingredients directly into the soup.  It was delicious.  Personally I would always serve this with cornbread, but the day I made it I served it with Garlic Butter Ciabatta Bread 


  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • large poblano or green bell pepper, chopped
  • cloves garlic, chopped
  • large red onion, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 15.5-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, or 1 heaping cup dried black beans, soaked and cooked
  • 12-ounce Quality Chicken Stock
  • 3 to 4 jalapeños, halved and seeded
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the poblano, garlic, all but ⅓ cup of the onion, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cumin.
  3. Add the beans, stock, and ½ cup water (I used more stock instead). Mash some of the beans with a fork or potato masher. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat broiler. Place the jalapeños on a broilerproof baking sheet and broil until charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Slice crosswise.
  6. In a small bowl, toss the jalapeños with the cilantro, lime juice, remaining ⅓ cup onion and 2 teaspoons oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serve with the soup.

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