Tag Archives: Mexican

Sweet Potato, Corn, & Black Bean Soup

19 Jul

I know what you’re thinking: Why is she posting a soup recipe when the heat index is above 100 degrees?! Well because this is no ordinary soup. Yes, it will entail you hovering near the stove for a half hour or so, but once you taste the result, you’ll see that this soup is actually very light, refreshing, and perfect for a hot summer day!


Yesterday was certainly one of those hot summer days. It felt like a sauna outside! My air conditioned house was a welcome reprieve after a long walk around a park with my friend (what were we thinking?!). Despite my exhaustion, I soldiered on and figured I could easily throw together this soup for dinner.

As I sauteed the corn, black beans, red peppers, and diced green chilis for the soup, my husband squirmed with delight. “My favorite ingredients in the world!” he exclaimed. I suppose this should come as no surprise, as I’ve previously posted about his obsession with black beans. But it’s nice to get some cheerleading in the kitchen every  now and then 🙂

Indeed, this  Sweet Potato, Corn, and Black Bean soup by Leftovers 4 Lunch is worth all the fanfare, and has risen to the top of my list of favorite soups. It’s super healthy (no cream or anything goes into it…just lots of veggie goodness), and contains inexpensive ingredients (a definite plus when food prices are soaring!)…but tastes fantastic. I love the silky smooth butternut squash base with the crunch of the red peppers and corn. The lime and cilantro give it just the right amount of acidity, freshness, and Mexican flair.

Hope everyone is managing to stay cool!

Sweet Potato, Corn, & Black Bean Soup (slightly adapted from Leftovers 4 Lunch)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (for me, it was 2 medium potatoes)
  • 2 small yellow onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups frozen corn kernals
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 oz can diced green chilis (or less, depending on your desired heat level)
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft, about 8 minutes.
  • Add broth, water, and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add red peppers and sautee for about 3 minutes. Next, add corn and sautee until warm, about 1 minute. Finally, add black beans and diced chilis. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and sautee mixture approximately 3 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender, blend the sweet potatoes and broth mixture until smooth. Stir in corn, black beans, bell pepper, and chili mixture. Add lime juice, cilantro, and more salt and pepper, to taste. Heat through, and and garnish with cilantro before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

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Black Bean Nachos & the Story of My Irrational Jealousy of Black Beans

7 Mar

I wish my husband talked about me the way he talks about black beans. He is in love! Perhaps even obsessed! He is so enamored that he is willing to drive an hour to the Indianapolis Costco to buy cans of black beans in bulk (and we are not the type to keep many cans of anything on hand, mind you). And, the bulk black beans go in so many dishes that they do not last long. Is it irrational for me to be jealous of black beans? Probably 🙂

Fortunately, I also like black beans a lot, enough to allow his love affair with them to continue.

This recipe for Black Bean Nachos is one of many black bean Mexican-style dishes for which my husband is responsible. He invented the dish, variations of which we have on a weekly basis. When we prepare Black Bean Nachos for dinner, I play “sous chef” and my husband plays “head chef.” So obediently focused on chopping vegetables, I’ve never really understood what he does to cook and season my offerings, and have been hesitant to replicate the dish without having a recipe at hand. Finally I got him to articulate exactly what he does so I can post it.

Turns out, the recipe is not complicated at all, and is actually very versatile. We use the same combination of black beans/corn/onions/red pepper in tacos. Using this combination of veggies is a great healthy, vegetarian alternative to making nachos with fake beef (although that is really good to have on occasion, too).

Black Bean Nachos/Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 15.5 oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • 10 oz can of diced tomatoes & green chiles
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup of frozen yellow sweet corn
  • 1/4 of a large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Tortilla chips (or taco shells)
  • Optional toppings: chopped cilantro, spinach, shredded Mexican cheese, sour cream, avocado, salsa

Preparation:

  • Use an indoor panini grill or outdoor grill to char corn and red pepper. After cooling, dice red pepper.
  • Add canola oil to a pan over medium-high heat . Add onions and can of rinsed black beans. Cook for approximately 4 minutes. Add corn, red pepper, and can of tomatoes. Cook for approximately 3 more minutes. Add cumin, salt, and pepper (to taste). Stir in chopped cilantro, if desired.
  • Top tortilla chips with desired toppings (e.g. spinach, cheese, sour cream, avocado, salsa) *Suggestion: try melting cheese over the tortilla chips in the microwave for a few seconds before topping with the veggie mixture and condiments. If making tacos, warm tortilla shells in the oven before filling with veggie mixture and condiments.

Makes 2-3 servings if you like a big plate of nachos, like us.

Such vibrant colors!