Last Saturday we both were too tired to prepare dinner but did not feel like going out or ordering in either. Plus we wanted to stay home to watch the classic Oscar-winning blockbuster, ‘From Here to Eternity.’ Neither of us had seen it before. Can you imagine?!? I particularly wanted to see that famous shot of Debora Kerr and Burt Lancaster making out on the beach while the waves caress their bodies… Wow! That’s Hollywood!
We had a bunch of stuff in the fridge but I couldn’t figure out what to make. Steven kept giving me ideas that I kept promptly rejecting. Then he hit me with the inscrutable, “You know what? I’m going to take the beast out. I am sure you can come up with something for dinner.”
After opening and closing the pantry several times, almost in a panic, I finally settled for a couple of cans of black beans and a container of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I ended up making a simple and flavorful black bean soup that took no more than 15 minutes to prepare. Steven loved it. So did I. The chipotle pepper gave this soup a new dimension, sort of a sassy, smoky, spicy, earthy flavor.
For those not familiar with chipotle pepper, these are jalapeño peppers that have been dried, smoked and cooked in a sauce (adobo) with spices including: tomato, cumin, oregano, other types of chili, and vinegar. You can find it at Mexican groceries like the ones we go to here in San Francisco in the Mission District.
Sassy Smoky Spicy Chipotle Black Bean Soup
2 cans of black beans
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce along with some extra sauce
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ cup water
½ tsp cumin
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with juices plus 2 tbsp
crumbled feta cheese
Freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt if needed. I didn’t add any.
Heat olive oil in a deep pan. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add beans with liquid from cans, water, diced tomatoes, pepper, cumin and chipotle. Bring to a boil. Reduce temperature to medium. Using a stick blender, blend until smooth. Serve it topped with one tablespoon of diced tomatoes, some crumbled feta and a drizzle of olive oil.
I served this soup with a mix salad of mache, red endive and new sweet onion tossed with a simple vinaigrette dressing made with olive oil, salt, pepper, lime juice, red wine vinegar. It was a great meal.
As for the famous 8 academy award winning movie, it was a bit predictable: macho culture, World War 2 and bombing of Pearl Harbor, excessive drinking and violence… All I can say is OVERRATED!