April 5, 2012

spice it up

There's still enough chill in the air to make soup sound satisfying, especially spicy & smokey concoctions inspired by warmer climates. Last night we made a big pot of black bean & sweet potato soup, with cilantro, poblanos, red bell peppers, jalapeños & chipotle. We didn't have any sour cream on hand, but a dollop of Greek yogurt did the trick nicely, adding a creamy & tangy counterpart to the spiciness. As a brisk evening wind blew outside, the kitchen filled with steam & delicious aromas, making me feel a tad nostalgic (crazy, I know) for cozy nights & warming winter fare.

I make this soup often, with varying amounts of each ingredient depending on what I have on hand, & what is fresh at the market. This cast of characters has proven to make a tasty & hearty meal, so try out your own version:

made with a large yellow onion, carrot & celery, to which I add crushed fresh garlic, cumin, smoked paprika & chipotle (I usually add powders, but crushing cumin seed & seeded dried chipotle peppers with a mortar & pestle is marvelous).

diced poblano (or pre-roast, which is delicious) & jalapeño peppers, add diced red bell pepper nearer to the end

with water or stock cubed sweet & yukon gold potatoes, oregano, fresh cilantro & pre-cooked or canned black beans, until potatoes are soft. salt & pepper to taste.

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