Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Recipe Thursday: Black Bean Soup

Today's recipe is one that is very near and dear to me. In 2008, when I delved into the world of vegetarianism, one of the very first cookbooks I got was Vegan Lunchbox by Jennifer McCann.

I especially liked the simplicity of the recipes as I was trying to a) muddle my way through a meat-free diet those first couple months and b) learn how to cook. I was good at measuring things, boiling things, making toast, eggs, and the occasional cookie, but beyond that my culinary skills were more or less nonexistent. I had thrived on fast food, dorm food, and microwaveable fare all through college up to this point, and the thought of having to purchase and then prepare fresh ingredients into an actual meal was intimidating to say the least. One of the first recipes I tried was "Sneaky Mama's Black Bean Soup," one of the author's favorite ways to sneak her son vegetables that he otherwise refused to eat. The trick is to blend the soup so that those distinguishable chunks of onion, etc. are hidden in the mix and masked by the other flavors. The technique works just as well on me as an 8 year old boy! Here's what all goes in it:

From left to right: Olive oil, cumin, zucchini, red bell pepper, tomato, black beans, onion, and salt and pepper. Not pictured: oregano- we ran out.
First you saute the onion and bell pepper.

Then add the zucchini, tomato, garlic, spices, and water and let it simmer.

Add the black beans and then blend! I forgot to take a 'before' picture, whoops.

Black bean soup, served with a Southwestern salad and tortilla chips. 

So there it is! I'm proud to announce that as of today I've knocked out 3 of this week's 4 workouts. I've also eaten at least twice the amount of calories I've burnt in cookies, but that's neither here nor there. Baby steps.

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