Black Bean Soup, Part Deux

Back in the winter, I made Smitten Kitchen's black bean soup. I liked it, but I didn't love it, possibly because I left out the toasted cumin seed crema, but I digress. I recently saw another recipe for black bean soup in Real Simple & decided to try it because it looked a little easier, faster & included roasted jalapeno salsa. Yes, please! I also decided to make jalapeno cornbread wedges to go with it. Why not?

Black Bean Soup with Roasted Jalapeno Salsa
Serves 4

Olive oil
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 red onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
Kosher salt & black pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 15.5-ounce cans black beans, drained & rinsed
1 12-ounce bottle beer
3 jalapenos, halved & seeded
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp fresh lime juice

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chipotle chili, garlic, red bell pepper, green bell pepper & all but 1/3 cup of red onion. Season with 1/4 tsp Kosher salt & 1/2 tsp pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 8-10 minutes; stir in the cumin. Heat broiler.

Add the beans, beer & 1/2 cup water to the pot (I added an extra cup-ish of water). Mash some of the beans with a fork or potato masher & bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup is slightly thickened, 6-8 minutes (I let mine simmer about 30 minutes, while the cornbread cooked).

Meanwhile, place the jalapenos on a broilerproof baking sheet & broil until charred, 2-3 minutes (mine took longer, but they were wet). Slice crosswise &, in a small bowl, toss with the cilantro, lime juice, the remaining 1/3 cup of red onion & 2 tsp oil & 1/4 tsp each Kosher salt & pepper. Serve with the soup.

Jalapeno Cornbread Wedges
Makes 8 Wedges

6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
1 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded & minced

Position an oven rack on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom & sides of a 9" glass pie plate.

Melt the butter; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder & salt. Whisk until well blended. Mix together the buttermilk & egg with a fork just until blended. Pour the buttermilk mixture & the cooled butter over the dry ingredients & add the minced jalapeno. Stir with a rubber spatula just until blended.

Scrape into the prepared pie plate & spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer the pie plate to a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into 8 wedges.

Kim's Notes: This was pretty good. It was like a summer version of the Smitten Kitchen recipe. Truth be told, the Smitten Kitchen recipe is better, but this one is still good. It's a lot spicier, especially with the roasted jalapeno salsa. I definitely suggest trying either one of the recipes, they're both good.

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