Yeah, yeah, I know. Spring is upon us. Summer is almost here. Stew is a winter dish. It’s almost 100 ºF and no one needs hot soup to literally warm the cockles (i.e., ventricles and atria) of his/her heart. But screw it, this is my go-to soup dish for all seasons when I want cheap and hearty food that requires very few brain cells to assemble.
This is a perfect dish to make on Sunday and take for lunch the rest of the week; especially come Thursday, when you crawl into work with a hangover and silently thank your smarter sober self for making instant curative sustenance four days prior.
Garlic, Spice, & Everything Nice Black Bean Stew
Serves 6(ish) hungry people
- 2 c uncooked black beans
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 head of garlic (yes USE THE WHOLE THING)
- 2-3 fresh jalapeños or serrano chiles
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 tbs red palm oil
- 1 tbs ground cumin
- 1 tbs ground coriander
- 5 tsp vegetable stock concentrate (I used Better Than Bouillon paste)
- 2 tbs nutritional yeast
- 1.5 tbs liquid aminos or soy sauce
Rinse the black beans and soak them in a bowl of water overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
Finely dice the onion. Use your pent up anger to smash the garlic cloves with the flat of your knife and mince them. I find that thinking about the popularity of shitty beer and lines at the DMV yields beautifully minced garlic. Finely dice and seed–or don’t seed, if you want additional spice–the chiles. Don’t even think about rubbing your eyes after handling those chiles. You’ll regret it. Grate the two carrots.
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Heat the oil first, then dump the onion, garlic, and chiles in there. Let them sizzle for 10-15 minutes, or until browned. Agitate occasionally. Add the carrot, cumin, and coriander to the caramelized mix and let everything fry for another 5 minutes.
Add 6 c water and 5 tsp vegetable stock paste to the pot and stir. Drain and rinse the soaked beans and dump them in the pot. Bring to a boil (still on medium heat) and let the burgeoning awesomeness bubble away for 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
After 30 minutes, add the nutritional yeast and liquid aminos/soy sauce. Turn the heat down to low and let thermal conduction work its magic for 30-45 more minutes, or until the beans are tender. Stir every once in a while.
When finished, use an immersion blender for a few seconds to blend about 1/3 of the soup. This will thicken it up a bit. Eat a couple bowls, hide the rest from your food pillaging roommates and pets, and maybe take a Gas-X.
Notes & Tips:
- Garnish options: finely sliced scallions, sliced jalapeño, cilantro, avocado, crumbled corn chips, cashew cream (pictured in the photo above). Google cashew cream – there are tons of great recipes.
- Other eating options: this stew is versatile. I’ve been known to use it when making (vegan) nachos, quesadillas, tacos, and even salads.
- You don’t strictly have to soak the beans overnight. Planning ahead is hard. However, dry beans are really hard. Without soaking the beans to soften them, your cooking time will increase. Probably by a significant amount.
- Pickled jalapeño works well in a pinch. If you’re scared of heat only use 1 jalapeño or serrano chile. Just know I will judge you.
- If you’re not a fan of red palm oil, olive oil is a tasty alternative. I prefer the red palm oil because of it’s buttery flavor. Buy the sustainable kind if you cook with palm oil, like this one. Let’s not be assholes to the orangutans.
- If you prefer not to puree part of the soup, or if the soup is just too thin for your liking, add 2 tsp flour or cornstarch to the pot 5 minutes before the soup is done cooking. Remember to mix it with a bit of cold water first. If you just dump the flour/starch in the soup it’ll have a hard time dissolving.
***Originally posted 6/2014***