Monday, January 23, 2012

Tropical Black Bean Soup

Last night's dinner was not our average one-pot meal.  We made numerous delicious dishes since we had two of my (non-vegan) friends and my (non-vegan) brother with us for dinner.  They brought home-brewed beer and ginger cookies, and we made Tropical Black Bean Soup, Quinoa and Corn Salad, Sweet Potato Fries, and roasted broccoli.  It was quite a spread!  Unfortunately I was too busy eating to take pictures, but I hope the recipes paint a satisfactory picture of our meal.

I'll start with the soup.  I've always been a fan of black bean soup, but this recipe takes things one step further.

Tropical Black Bean Soup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, finely diced
  • 4 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 cans lite coconut milk
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • salt to taste
Heat the oil and garlic in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the onions and red peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes or until tender.  Stir in the beans, bananas, cumin, ginger, and hot sauce; cook until the banana softens, stirring frequently.  Stir in the coconut milk and vegetable broth.  Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. 

Serve hot with fresh bread for dipping and sopping.  Serves 6-8 people.

Everyone at dinner liked this soup.  Some people were unable to pick out the taste of the banana, specifically; however, I found it to be a noticeably pleasant, though subtle, addition.  Rachel agreed and enjoyed the soup, even though she had been nervous about the idea of bananas in soup.  She also commented that the soup was much heartier than other soups we've made in the past.  It was filling and went great with the rest of the meal.     
None of these ingredients are particularly unusual.  Feel free to use green bell peppers instead of red, as green would be cheaper.        
Ease of Preparation:   
This soup is certainly easy to make.  It takes about an hour to make from start to finish, but it's definitely worth it! 
Non-vegan friendliness:  
This soup was enjoyed by all non-vegans at dinner last night, and I would feel comfortable serving this to any group of people in the future.  It's a substantive soup that stands on its own. 

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