Aka sometimes you need soup instead of chocolate, which, of course, refers to my submission for January’s Go ahead, honey, it’s gluten-free! which you might remember was Cranberry Almond BIttersweet Chocolate, a case of chocolate instead of soup. This month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free, created by Naomi of Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried is hosted by Linda of Gluten-Free Homemaker and Linda chose the theme Seasonal Soups.
Back in January I was making a lot of black bean soups, with and without sweet potato, carrot soups (with raw carrots and cooked azukis for extra protein), and sweet potato and/or butternut squash soups, but as I mentioned back then, any time I started measuring ingredients to give you a recipe, those versions were invariably never as good as the ones I threw together.
Last night, while walking home from work (it is a busy time of year), freezing because of the cold snap that hit the Washington, DC area, I decided that I needed soup as soon as I got home. There was also the small matter that I still needed to get my submission done for this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free. I had initially wanted to make a mushroom soup, since that is seasonal to this area, but to me, black bean soup goes with Winter and early Spring, and last night sure felt like winter. I have been on a sweet and savory kick lately, so I decided to go that route with black beans, banana, Thai curry paste and some melty caramelized onions.
My husband thought the plan of banana with black beans was odd, but since he does not like soup anyways, it just meant more for me. I usually use cashews or coconut or sweet potato to thicken black bean soup, but the banana gave the soup nice complexity on its own. I was planning to add coconut milk to heighten the tropical sweet and savory feel of the soup, but I decided against it as I really liked the flavor of the soup without it. You initially tasted the curry and black beans, and then the sweetness of the banana, which is much more subtle.
I ate this soup last night with a crumbled Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin atop, which heightened the sweet or savory experience perfectly. Today, I decided I needed a repeat of the combination for the lunch I brought to work with me, so that is what you are seeing on the picture – a mini lunchbox of sweet and savory goodness, which is what you are seeing in the photos today. The muffin is from Carol Kicinski’s upcoming book:
|Simply . . . Gluten-free Desserts: 150 Delicious Recipes for Cupcakes, Cookies, Pies, and More Old and New Favorites|
The muffins are scrumptious, whether as breakfast or atop soup or as a snack, and I have Carol’s Black Bean Brownies in the oven as I am writing this so a review of the book is coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy this soup. In addition to submitting this soup to GAHIGF, I am also submitting it to Diane’s Real Food Weekly at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.
Tropical Black Bean Soup (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free, Soy-Free)
Makes 2 servings
- 1 tsp grapeseed oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into rings (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 banana, peeled and cut into 4 pieces
- 2 cups black beans (or 1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed), separated into 2 1-cup amounts
- 2 cups black bean cooking liquid, if you cooked the beans from scratch. Substitute vegetable broth otherwise.
- 1 Tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste (I like Thai Kitchen’s curry paste as it is both gluten-free and vegan, but you can make your own – you can substitute miso for shrimp paste)
- 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne or dash hot sauce (optional)
- Chopped scallions or shallots, for serving
Heat the grapeseed oil on medium heat in a saucepan. Add the onion and cook for 8-10 minutes, until onions start to soften. Add banana, and cook both onions and banana for another 15-20 minutes, until some caramelization occurs. Transfer mixture to blender, add 1 cup of black beans, the bean cooking liquid (or broth), the Thai Red Curry paste, the salt and the optional cayenne. Blend until smooth. Transfer to saucepan, add remaining black beans, and heat until soup is warm. Serve, topped with chopped scallions or shallots.
Update April 5, 2011, this is also my submission for today’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.
Disclosures: General Disclosures
Specific disclosure regarding SImply… Gluten-Free Desserts: I received this book free of charge. My view of this book is not influenced in any way by the fact I received it free of charge.