31 March 2017

KMW's Vegan Honduran Black Bean Soup

It was this time two years ago that we were moving into our new house. We are so happy here and a lot of that has to with our neighbors. We have AWESOME neighbors.

One set of our across the street neighbors, Katie and Marc, work at one of the other colleges in town. Both of them are biological anthropologists. They do field work where they dig for bones or artifacts in carefully arranged grids. (And habits die hard; you should have seen them digging a very precise 3'x3' hole for a new tree they planted!) Although they do field work in a variety of places, one of their primary locations is Honduras.

A while back, they invited us over for dinner. They were a little worried about what vegan thing to cook, but then realized that a traditional meal they ate while doing field work in Honduras could easily be made vegan. Katie Neighbor* told me that two women, Rosa Hernandez and Elvia Martinez, in Copan, Honduras taught her the recipe. I'll never meet these women, but I am SO glad they shared with her. This black bean soup was so. freaking. good. Seriously good. The underlying flavor is layered and complex and round. Plus, each of us gets to personalize our own bowl with the via all sorts of add-ins. Finally, while I hate to tell anyone how to eat, whichever add-ins you choose, you simply must add the radishes! Yes, radishes.

KMW Vegan Honduran Black Bean Soup
Edited ever so slightly from the hand-written recipe Katie let me borrow.

3-4 red onions, chopped
3 green bell peppers (or another color) chopped
3 jalapenos, seeded and diced
20 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
6 roma tomatoes, chopped
1, 6 oz. can of tomato paste
3, 15 oz. cans black beans (divided 2 cans and 1 can)
8 1/2 c. no-chicked broth (divided 4 and 4 1/2)

Mix-in Options
chopped radishes (a must!!)
chopped cilantro
avocados (mashed - but not flavored! or chopped or both)
tortillas (tear into your own bowl)
hot sauces
lime slices (for the juice)

1. In a LARGE stockpot, saute the onions in a bit of oil over medium-high until the onions are beginning to become translucent.
2. Add the jalapenos and peppers and saute for another few minutes, then add garlic and saute for an additional minute.
3. Turn down the heat to medium and add the tomatoes and tomato paste, continuing to cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Add 2 cans of beans and 4 c. of the broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup, then add the last can of beans and the rest of the broth and cook another 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prep any mix-ins.

Helpful Hints
  • I know that raw chopped radishes in a soup sounds strange, but it really is amazing! It's such a wonderful peppery/bright crunch. 
  • This makes a ridiculous amount of soup! However, it also freezes well; just make sure to freeze it without the mix-ins. So, make the whole amount of the soup and freeze half for an easy future dinner. Or have a dinner party! We took this to vegan potluck this month, which meant we had just enough left of lunch and one portion to put in the freezer. 
  • If you use a gluten & soy free broth, this is a very allergen-friendly meal. Plus, it's great for a group, as everyone can make their bowl their own.
  • When we first ate this with our neighbors, they had a few different salsas and hot sauces of varying heat-levels available. That's not necessary, but if you already have such options in your pantry, pull them out. 

* Neighbor is not her real last name, but I decided to reference her in a way similar to how I reference The Bests (also not really their last names). 

The post "KMW's Vegan Honduran Black Bean Soup" first appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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