Sunday, January 09, 2011

Spiced black bean soup

Madhur Jaffrey's CURRY EASY was worthy of the Sunday Times' Cookery Book of the Year accolade (though the claims of Niki Segnit's THE FLAVOUR THESAURUS were strong). I find, as I browse most cookery books, that I come across at most half a dozen recipes I might cook; I want to try just about everything in Jaffrey's, even if, as here, I adapt them.

2tbsp sunflower or vegetable (or olive, Jaffrey says) oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
Generous pinch ground asafoetida
1/4tsp cumin seeds
2 red onions
1/4tsp cayenne pepper
1/4tsp turmeric
1 can organic black beans
Lemon juice

Warm the oil over a medium heat, and throw in the garlic, asafeotida, and cumin. When they're sizzling, add the onions, and stir until soft, lowering the heat if they threaten to catch. Add the cayenne and turmeric, and pour in the beans with their liquid. (If the beans are not organic, you may prefer to throw away the salty, slimy water in which they have been sitting, and to use fresh water instead.) Add more water to come to the top of the beans and to create a soup of the consistency you like. Here, I must admit that I added half a chicken stock cube too.

Bring to a simmer, lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes. Blend. (I use a stick blender.) Squirt in a little lemon juice. If you have not used a cube, you may want some salt.

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