Sunday Supper = Soup + Salad


I like a simple supper on Sunday evening after a busy day of getting ready for the week ahead.  And that almost always means soup + salad + however much grilled cheese is required to supplement the soup for the Mountain Man. 

Here are two: a Spicy Black Bean Soup from Bon Appetit that I've made many times, and a Multi-Bean Soup that I tried for the first time last weekend and have added to the keeper recipe file.  Both call for basic, inexpensive ingredients. Always a plus.

Spicy Black Bean Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
1 4-ounce can diced mild green chilies
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño chili with seeds
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 15-ounce cans black beans, undrained
2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
8 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream
Tortilla chips

Prep: Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, green chilies, garlic, jalapeño, and cumin. Sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans with juices and broth. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Puree 3 cups soup in batches in blender. Return puree to same pot. Mix in 6 tablespoons cilantro. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro.

Multi-Bean Soup
This soup is great if you buy dried beans and lentils from the bulk section of a health food store and always end up with just a little of several types languishing at the back of the shelf! It makes a HUGE pot of soup.  My 5 quart Le Creuset nearly boiled over. 

2 c. multi-bean soup mix (see below) 
3 qts. water 
1 lb. ham, diced 
1 lg. onion 
3 lg. carrots, diced 
2 leeks slices finely 
2 to 3 lg. stalks celery, sliced 
2 bay leaves 
2 cloves garlic, minced finely 
1 lg. onion, studded with 4 to 5 whole cloves 
1 lg. can tomatoes 
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped 
1 tsp. dried basil 
1 tsp. sugar 
Salt and pepper to taste

Multi-Bean Soup Mix (all dried beans):  
1 lb. small navy beans 
1 lb. small lima beans 
1 lb. red kidney beans 
1 lg. green split peas 
1 lb. yellow split peas 
1 lb. black beans 
1 lb. pinto beans 
1 lb. black eye beans 
1 lb. lentils
Mix all beans together and keep stored in a dark cool closet.  [I skipped the limas, yellow split peas and pinto beans.  I already had red kidneys, green split peas, black eyed peas and French lentils, so I just added 1 cup of cannelini (navy) and 1 cup of black beans to the mix and had more than enough for 2 cups worth and some for another pot of soup]

Prep: Soak beans overnight. Drain well, place in large heavy stockpot with water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and add rest of ingredients. Cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Remove onion and bay leaves before serving.
[Now, I basically ignored these directions entirely, other than soaking the beans, of course.  I wasn't sure if it called for a chopped onion AND an onion pierced with whole cloves, or if that was a typo, and I didn't have whole cloves.  So I heated some olive oil and sauteed all the chopped vegetables and then tossed in the cubed ham.  I also did half water/half chicken stock because I had some open and chicken stock just tastes better.  I added the liquids, then the beans and the canned tomatoes, bay leaves, Italian spice mix because I didn't have dried basil, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves, sugar, parsely, etc and let it simmer for the recommended 2 hours. This soup lasted for 2 dinners and 2 lunches, including feeding a house guest those two nights!]

Bon Appetit!

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