I adore winter. I think it’s the most beautiful time of the year. All life is tucked away and hidden until it is reborn again in Spring. It’s a cold, bitter season of death. In Chicago, it’s an unpredictable inconvenience that destroys our roads.
But it’s so beautiful.
It does make eating seasonally a little bit tricky. Sometimes you just need to bust out your Rick Bayless cookbook and enjoy the warm flavors of Mexico in your own, blisteringly cold kitchen. This recipe is easily made vegan or vegetarian. By the way, if you’re vegan and haven’t eaten Upton’s Naturals, what are you eating? This stuff is insanely delicious, so break the bank a bit and get yourself some serious seitan.
Oaxacan Black Bean Soup
adapted from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen
serves 4 -6
- 2 C dry black beans, rinsed
- 2 C vegetable stock + 4 C water
- 2 t olive oil
- 1/2 C chorizo (I’m using a seitan chorizo form Upton’s Naturals)
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 4 avocado leaves // 1 rib fresh fennel roughly chopped
- salt + pepper to taste
- Plantain chips to top
- 1/2 C Mexican crumbly cheese
- medium pot
Place beans in a medium-sized pot and cover with 6 cups of water or stock. Remove any beans that float, because that’s the musical fruit. Bring water to a simmer.
Add the oil to a skillet and heat over medium-low. Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the chorizo and cook for about three minutes.
Add the fennel (if using), and remove from heat. If you are using avocado leaves (I have no idea where to buy these but if you do, then try it out), toast them over a medium gas flame. Add the leaves (or fennel), chorizo and onion to the beans, cover and simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally until the beans are tender, 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
Using an immersion blender or food processor, coarsely puree the soup. If it’s looking a little thick, add some water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.