Black Bean Soup
This variation on a dish found in many of the Blue Zones adds fruit and spices for intense flavor. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients; most of them are spices, so the recipe is easy and fast! A green salad and some corn tortillas or sourdough rolls alongside it will make a meal.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, diced (about 1 cup)
4 medium celery ribs, diced (about 1 cup)
1⁄2 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced (about 1⁄3 cup)
1 large red globe, beefsteak, or heirloom tomato, chopped (about 3⁄4 cup)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 1⁄2 cups cooked black beans plus 2 cups cooking liquid
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1⁄2 teaspoons celery seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch-thick rings (optional)
Warm the oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat.
Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes.
Add the tomato and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 5 minutes.
Add the beans with their liquid or water, broth, zest, all the spices, and the salt.
Increase to high heat and bring to a full simmer, stirring occasionally.
Cover, reduce to low heat, and simmer slowly until slightly thickened and mellowed in its flavors, about 30 minutes.
If desired, grill the pineapple slices in a nonstick grill pan set over medium-high heat, turning once, until marked and tender, about 6 minutes; or broil on a large, lipped baking sheet 4 to 6 inches from a heated broiler for 4 minutes, turning once.
Cut into chunks.
Serve the soup with the pineapple on top or on the side.
Tip: If you do not have precooked black beans, use 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed (about 31⁄2 cups) and increase the vegetable broth to 4 cups (1 quart).
Tip: When the soup is finished, partially blend with an immersion blender, if you want a thicker soup with a few chunky bits in it.
100 Recipes to Live to 100 THE BLUE ZONES KITCHEN
The Blue Zones Kitchen fuses scientific reporting, National Geographic photography and 100 recipes that may help you live to 100. The Blue Zones’ food tradition is going the way of the dodo bird, thanks to the encroachment of the American Food Culture.Learn More