You may be wondering about the name of this soup, specifically the “substitution-bean” part. The original name for this recipe was Black Bean and Vegetable Soup. Except I didn’t have black beans, so it turned into Black-Eyed Beans and Vegetable Soup. Except I didn’t have enough black-eyed beans, so it turned into Black-Eyed Beans and Kidney Beans and Vegetable Soup. The moral of the story: Use whatever beans you have, it really doesn’t make a difference and it will turn out yummy anyway! Never be afraid to substitute
- 450 g dried beans, rinsed, soaked for 6-8 hours or overnight (the original recipe calls for black beans – I used mostly black-eyed beans, and topped up with kidney beans)
- 6 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- Pinch of bicarb soda
- 45 mL olive oil
- 2 medium size onions, diced finely
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green capsicum, seeded and diced finely (I used half a green capsicum, and half a red one)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (I used a pinch or two of chili powder)
- 1 stalk celery, diced finely
- 1 carrot, diced finely
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 15 mL white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
- 2 tsp salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 cups vegetable stock (I used 4 cups)
Prepare the beans: Drain the soaked beans, rinse again, and place the beans in a very large stockpot. Pour in the 6 cups of water and add the bay leaves and baking powder. Cover and bring to a boil, boil for about 3 mins, and then lower the heat to medium-low. Allow to simmer for 1-1.5 hr until the beans are very tender and their skins are soft (the time could vary depending on what beans you use). Remove the bay leaves.
During the last 30 min of the beans’ cooking, prepare the vegetables: Preheat a large heavy-bottomed frypan over medium heat. Saute the garlic in the oil until the garlic begins to sizzle, stir for 30 sec, and add the onions and capsicum. Stir and cook for 12-15 min, until the onions and capsicum are very soft, then add the jalapeno, celery and carrot. Cook for another 10 min, until the carrot has begun to soften, then remove from the heat.
When the beans are completely tender, stir in the sauteed vegetables and any remaining oil, plus the cumin, oregano, thyme and vegetable stock. Cover the pot, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Lover the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot, and simmer for 35-40 min, until the carrot and celery are tender.
Remove from the heat, allow to cool for 10 min, add the vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Like most soups, this soup will be richer and more flavourful the next day.
If desired, garnish each serving of soup with chopped coriander and chopped avocado. Serve with lime wedges. (I didn’t worry about the garnish.)
Adapted from: Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero