Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Black Bean Soup with a Cajun Twist

I adore black bean soup with plenty of white rice, plus a garnish of some diced onion for a bit of crunch.

I've been known to add so much rice that I end up with something more like a stew, and other times, I leave it a little more soupy. Sometimes I'll add a little cilantro or sour cream or crumbled cheese as well. Like any soup, there are plenty of opportunities for customization and embellishments.

This recipe is so simple to make, it's almost cheating. Sure, you have to do a little slicing and dicing, but then it all goes into a slow cooker and there's nothing else to do until you're ready to serve.

The sausage I used here was from Teet's who partnered with the blog group 37 Cooks. It was a smoked garlic pork sausage - a spicier Cajun version of a typical smoked sausage. It added a nice amount of spice to the soup, but it wasn't at all what I'd consider spicy hot - just what I'm looking for in a black bean soup.

Black Bean Soup (with a Cajun twist)

2 cups dried black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup diced onion
2 cups diced Teets smoked garlic pork sausage
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 tomato, diced
1 fire roasted red pepper, diced
2 quarts water
2 cups rice, cooked
Diced onion, for garnish

Place the beans, 1 cup of onion, sausage, cumin, salt, tomato, pepper, and water in a slow cooker.

Set the cooker on low and cook until the beans are fully cooked. It took about 14 hours in my cooker, but the time will depend on your slow cooker. And I live at high altitude, and dried beans always take longer to cook.

If you prefer the soup with a little more body, you can use a fork or potato masher to smash some of the beans. If you prefer something even thicker, you can use a stick blender briefly to puree some of the beans.

Serve hot. Pass the rice and onions separately.