This soup is one of the easiest and cheapest weeknight meals, but also one of the most satisfying. If you own a pressure cooker, you can prepare black bean soup in around an hour. Unlike the more traditional versions, this recipe uses onion and hot peppers and results in a purée. Thanks to César for this delicious recipe!
1 and 1/4 cup dried black beans
2 quarts cold water *
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 small white onion
4 jalapeño or serrano chilis
2 tbs olive or vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Crema (Mexican table cream) or crème fraiche – no sour cream!
*If you have a pressure cooker, this is about the amount of water you need. Of course, don’t exceed the mark on the inside of the cooker. If you are using a regular pot, you might need a bit more water.
Put the dried black beans in a pressure cooker and cover with approximately two quarts of cold water. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, the garlic and a pinch of salt. Seal the pot and bring to a boil. When a steady stream of steam is rising from the valve, turn the heat down to medium-high and cook for 40 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you’ll need to boil the beans longer in a regular pot- probably around 2 hours. In this case, cook the beans until they are very tender and have absorbed most of the liquid. You might need to replenish the water once or twice if the beans have absorbed the water but are still firm.
Meanwhile, de-vein the peppers and remove the seeds. Dice these finely with the onion and sauté them in a frying pan with the other tablespoon of oil until the onions turn translucent.
After the 40 minutes are up, take the pressure cooker off the heat and let this sit for around 10 minutes so the steam can escape. When it has sat for a time, remove the lid carefully.
Pour the beans with their liquid into a food processor with the onions and peppers. Blend the mixture until just smooth. Add salt to taste, and a tablespoon of water or so if necessary- you want the mixture to be a thick liquid (still pourable) with some texture. Alternately, you can use emersion blender or potato masher in the pot to get the mixture to the right consistency, as we did.
Reheat the soup over the stove for a few minutes before serving. Serve this with a green salad and a baguette or bolillos and you’ve got yourself an excellent meal. (The salad in the picture below is watercress and feta cheese with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper).