I adapted this from a Gourmet recipe – simplified by using canned beans instead of fresh. I also halved the bacon and stock and added some vegetables. James and Morgan really loved it. I thought it was a nice alternative black bean soup. Very rice with the bacon, and less sludgey than black bean soup where you don’t drain the beans.
4 bacon slices, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 teaspoon cumin
pinch or two chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 quart chicken stock
2 cans black beans, drained
pepper and salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Cook bacon in a heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Pour off rendered fat in excess of about 2 tablespoons. Lower heat to medium. Add onion, bell pepper, carrots, celery, oregano, bay leaf, thyme, cumin and chili powder and sauté, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté one more minute.
Add tomatoes, beans, chicken broth, and salt and pepper (to taste) and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until beans are heated through. Discard bay leaf and stir in cilantro.
Suggested accompaniments: chopped avocado, sour cream, more cilantro. CORN BREAD on the side.