Black Bean Soup with Jalapeã-Lime Crãme
- For soup:
- 2 cups dried black beans, picked through and rinsed
- 1 (2- to 3-inch) piece kombu (a sea vegetable; available in Asian grocery stores)
- 6 cups Vegetable Stock or water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 5 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 5 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- For Jalapeño-Lime Crème:
- 2 jalapeños, roasted
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup plain soy milk
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
To prepare soup, place beans and kombu in a heavy stockpot. Add enough water to cover by 3 inches, soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse beans, reserve kombu.
Return beans and kombu to the pot, add stock and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Decrease heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, or until beans are tender. Discard kombu and stir in salt.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Sauté for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, then the chili powder, cayenne and cumin. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes soften. Add the tomatoes to the beans, cover and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Decrease heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender and the flavors blend. Cool slightly.
Transfer half the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot and season to taste with more salt, if desired. Stir in the cilantro. Serve with drizzle of Jalapeño-Lime Crème.
To prepare Jalapeño-Lime Crème, add chilies, cashews, soy milk, lime zest, lime juice, oil and salt to a blender. Blend until smooth.