Thursday, 27 September 2012

Black Bean and Cassava Soup

I was searching through my cupboards and realised that I had more dried pulses than our local supermarket and decided it was time to use some. I've actually made three dishes with pulses this week, salt cod and chickpea stew and a spicy sausage hotpot both of which I post shortly. But for this recipe I decided to use up some black beans, so before I went to bed I placed 100g of dried black beans into a bowl of water to soak overnight.

When I got up in the morning, I drained the beans and then place them into a pan of water and boiled them for 10 minutes and then turned the heat down and let them simmer for about 45 minutes, just as well as I had plenty of time as I still wasn't sure what to do with them.

Black beans are typically used in Latin American and whilst walking around my local supermarket I was still wondering what to do them, when I spotted cassava in the vegetable area and knew that was also used in South America and decided to make a black bean and cassava soup. I know it simple, but not really knowing what cassava tasted like I didn't want to make something fancy and ruining it.

Cassava's texture is like yucca or yam, but with a starchy flavour. But there is a warning as cassava can cause problems if not prepared correctly as it can increase the build up in cyanide. It's very easy to remove the toxins during the cooking process, but you shouldn't eat it raw. See for more information

  • 100g dried black beans (or 200g tinned)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 700g cassava
  • 1ltr vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp flat leaf parsley
  • salt and pepper to season

Soak the black beans in water over night and then rinse in the morning. Place into a pan and cover with cold water and bring to a rapid boil for 10 minutes. Turn down the heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Sieve the beans and place to one side

Place a pan on the hob and turn up the heat and melt the butter. Add the oil to stop the butter from burning then add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, between 5-10 minutes

Peel the cassava and chop it in to medium size pieces, then add it and the boiled black beans into the onions and garlic and stir together and cook for about 3-4 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock and flat leaf parsley and cook for 30 minutes.

Take out some of the black beans and cassava. Cut the cassava into smaller pieces and place both items to one side

Blend all the other ingredients in the pan together until all blended together.

Place the black beans and cut up cassava back into the soup mixture and bring back to the boil and serve with yoghurt and a few leafs of the parsley.

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