Cream of Black Widow’s Web (Black Bean Soup)
Hearty black bean soup is traced with a spider’s web of sour cream for a wonderful first course. This soup could also be made in larger quantity and served as the main course.
- Black Beans - 1 pound
- Water - 4 cups
- Bacon - 8 slices
- White Onion - 1/2 onion, diced
- Green Bell Peppers - 2, seeded, deribbed, and diced
- Red Bell Peppers - 2, seeded, deribbed, and diced
- Celery - 2 stalks, deribbed and sliced
- Chicken Stock - 5-1/2 cups
- Parsley - 2 sprigs, minced
- Bay Leaves - 4
- Jalapeno - 1, seeded, deribbed, and minced
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Garlic Cloves - 4, minced
- Coriander - 1/2 teaspoon, ground
- Red Wine Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Sour Cream - 1/4 cup
- Parsley Leaves - 4
Place the black beans in a deep bowl and cover with cool water. Let soak 2 hours at room temperature.
Place the bacon in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the onion, bell peppers, and celery and continue cooking until softened, about 4 minutes. Drain the black beans in a colander and add to the vegetables. Add the chicken stock, reserving 1/4 cup. Stir to blend and add the chopped parsley and bay leaves. Let cook over medium heat for 45 minutes. Add the jalapeno, garlic, and salt. Continue cooking for 45 more minutes.
When the soup has completed cooking, place in a blender or food processor and blend on low for 30 seconds, then on high for 1 minute, until smooth. Add reserved chicken stock to thin if necessary. Return the soup to the saucepan and place over high heat. Add the coriander and vinegar and stir well. Add the butter and remove the pan from heat; stir the melting butter into the soup.
To serve: Place the soup in serving bowls. Place the sour cream in a squeeze bottle with a narrow tip. Draw a spiral of cream on top of each bowl of soup. Using a skewer or toothpick, draw a series of straight lines from the center to the outside of the bowl through the spiral of cream. Then reverse and do a set of lines from the outside to the center between the previous lines to produce the spider web effect. Place a parsley leaf in the center of each web.