04 November 2007
After our baby shower last weekend Jeff and I took Mom and Dad to one of our closest and tastiest local restaurants, Cafe Brazil. It's an amazing little restaurant that serves authentic Brazilian (surprise!) food like prawns in a coconut, lime, and ginger sauce; or our favorite, "grilled Manchego cheese with garlic pesto"! Usually their black bean soup is quite tasty but this time it seemed watery and less flavorful...a big disappointment. The next day I was really craving a good, rich black bean soup for dinner, much like the one we always used to get at "The Grill" in Peoria.
After researching a bunch of different basic recipes that either seemed to unhealthy or too boring, I decided to just create my own!
Black Bean & Sausage Soup
(w/ Kale and Sweet Potato)
2 T olive oil
1 lb. turkey kielbasa, sliced
1 large (or 2 med.) leek, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, diced
3 stalks celery (with leaves), diced
3 cloves minced garlic
1 sweet potato, medium dice
2 large handfuls chopped kale
32. oz low sodium beef stock
4 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup dry sherry
Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 T minced fresh parsley
1 T fresh thyme leaves
Heat 1 T olive oil in a large dutch oven over med high heat. Add
sliced kielbasa and brown evenly. Remove kielbasa from pan and set
aside. Add 1 T olive to pan and saute leek, carrot and celery until
translucent. Stir in minced garlic and saute 1-2 minutes longer to
release fragrance. Deglaze pan with wine and sherry. Stir in stock,
kielbasa, beans, sweet potatoes, chopped kale, cayenne, dried thyme,
bay leaf, fresh thyme and parsley. Stir in 1-2 cups water, if
necessary, to entirely cover beans and sausage. Bring to a boil and
immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer on low for at least
one hour or more if possible to develop flavor to to thicken soup. Salt and pepper to
taste, if necessary.
Serve with sour cream and Tabasco OR a splash of sherry and a sprinkle
of fresh thyme if desired.
TIP: Kielbasa has quite a bit of salt already. It's a good idea to wait until the soup has cooked for at least 30 min. before you taste it and add more salt!