By the time we returned, I was ready to eat only rice, beans, and vegetables for a week. Often after a holiday, vacation, or work trip, I crave simple, healthy food. I lay off the booze for a few days–no glass of wine with dinner or beer to unwind–and overcompensate for buttery and salty restaurant meals with lighter, greener fare.
This soup was the result of my post-NYC craving. It’s smoky and spicy and sweet and salty all at once. The chipotle peppers and adobo sauce (I’m still working my way through the can I opened for this) add a kick of spice, and sherry at the beginning of the cooking deepens the flavor. The soup is mostly based on this recipe from Food and Wine, and the chipotle idea I borrowed from Deb at Smitten Kitchen.
I’ve been eating chipotle peppers in everything ever since I made this soup. Chipotle eggs for a weekend breakfast. Chipotle peppers in mac and cheese. Chipotle sweet potato tacos. Quesadillas with chipotle sour cream. It’s the first can I’ve ever opened. My cultural association with chipotle is the McDonald’s-owned burrito brand, famous for their mildly crowd-pleasing burritos, which, so far as I can tell, contain no real chipotle peppers. The name has been co-opted, but the real deal, original peppers are a Mexican grocery dream.
|chipotle black bean soup with sweet potatoes and avocado salsa|
- 3 15 oz cans black beans
- 1 tablespoon chipotle peppers from a can
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 cups water or chicken stock
- 1/2 cup sherry
- 1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp fresh black pepper
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 avocados
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Blend half the beans with about 1 cup water or stock until pureed. Set aside.
- Heat vegetable oil over medium heat, and add onions, garlic, and pinch of salt. Cook without browning until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and turn up the heat. Cook until sherry is reduced by half.
- Add the chopped chipotle, remaining stock, pureed beans, and diced sweet potato. Simmer until sweet potato is almost cooked through, but not quite about 8 minutes. Add remaining beans and Worcestershire sauce, and simmer for another 5 minutes or so.
- Meanwhile, make the salsa by combining avocado, lime juice, cilantro, and salt to taste.
- Serve soup topped with salsa.