Saturday, 30 June 2012

Black Bean Soup

My neck had really starting hurting again so I decided to go back up to 20 pills a day and yesterday (Friday 29 June) I had a really bad audition for a TV advert and was feeling very sorry for myself. There was only one way to cheer myself up and that was to go home and do some cooking. After doing my voluntary work I went home and made some black bean soup for a starter and then jerk chicken wings with rice and peas for the main. Upon reflection that is really sad because once upon a time I would have just met up with my mates, gone out and got completely wasted in a pub somewhere, jeez I must be getting old.

Before I went home to do the cooking I had to do some volunteering at the Food Chain. Which turned out to be great because I was asked if I didn't mind taking home over a 100 recipes, from the African continent to sort them out. Over the years people had sent in recipes but they needed to be sorted out so a nutritionist could review them to see if the recipes could use by the charity. I said no problem and that it would take a couple of weeks, which they were fine about. Weeks...weeks, I've almost finished, I couldn't believe my luck. I couldn't wait to get the recipes home so I can see what wonderful foods and ingredients I was going to find. On my computer I've got a few African websites listed in my favourites but had only really done a couple of recipes from Ethiopia and recently the African chicken and peanut stew. Now that I've got my hands on all of these authentic recipes I can see me rustling up a lot more African recipes and of course I'll share them on here. So yesterday ended up being a good day – in other words – what rubbish audition and what bad neck I've got some new great recipes to try out.

This is another recipe from the Food Chain as I build up to my 10K charity run for them on the 8th July 2012. If you would like to help me raise money you can at

Adding cumin and coriander to the recipe is optional but I must stress it tastes a lot better with them added

  • 200g dried black beans or 400g/14oz tinned black beans
  • 1litre/1¾ pint of “no salt” vegetable stock
  • 1tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, washed and chopped
  • 1tbsp ground cumin and coriander (optional)
  • salt and pepper to season
  • (serves 4-6)

If using dried black beans, place them in a bowl of water and leave them to soak overnight or a minimum of 8 hours

Sieve the beans and rinse them, then place them into a pan and pour in the vegetable stock. Bring to a rapid boil for 10 minutes and then simmer for 40 minutes, once cooked remove to one side. If using the canned beans, just drain the liquid and rinse them

In another saucepan add the oil and gently saute the onions for 5 minutes, stirring ocassionaly. Add the garlic and the pepper and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the potatoes and if using add the cumin and coriander stir altogether and cook for about 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Take the cooked beans, still in the stock and add them to the other pan and mix altogether and bring to a gently boil. If using canned beans add to the pan and the vegetable stock which has yet to be used.

Cook the soup for about 20 minutes, ensuring there is enough stock to cover all the ingredients if not add a bit more water.

Once completely cooked, blend or mash together until you have a creamy texture and serve with yoghurt or with alfalfa sprouts.

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