Guess what my peeps?! It's my fall break! Can I get a Whoop Whoop! Well, actually I'm not a Whoop Whoop kind of girl. I don't believe that I've ever Whoop Whooped, or a Yee Ha'd, or any other loud crowd sound that you can think of. I'm not a loud crowd sound person. I'm the one standing there quietly, studying the loud, boisterous people like they are some kind of zoo animal. So, anyway, can I get nice dignified, smile and nod, over my fall break?!
Since it's fall, it's all about soup. My very favorite bean, the humble black bean, is always stored away in my pantry. I used to have a fabulous black bean soup recipe that I used all the time, and then I lost it. I've spent years trying to find another black bean soup recipe to call my favorite. This one today sounded interesting, and it was..interesting. I like the addition of the apples and the ginger, but the allspice was overpowering to my taste. If I make it again, I'll omit the allspice and see. Oh, and you know, it was finished with a generous splash of my pepper vinegar. And please disregard my pathetic garnishing skills. You wouldn't think it would be so hard to artistically sprinkle some chopped chives on top would you?
Black Bean Soup with Apple
Adapted from The Herbfarm Cookbookby Jerry Traunfeld
8 cups water
1 pound dried black beans
6 ounces smoked bacon, very finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 ribs celery, finely chopped
7 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground allspice (see note above)
5 fresh bay leaves or 3 dried
3 large tart apples, like granny smiths, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons sherry or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup or dark brown sugar
Chopped fresh chives for garnish
(Instructions are modified, because I made it in the slow-cooker). Combine the beans and water in slower cooker bowl and soak overnight. The next morning, add enough chicken stock to make the total liquid around 8 cups. Add the rest of the ingredients through the bay leaves to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. About an hour before serving add the rest of the ingredients, except for the chives. Serve garnished with the chives.