Friday, January 9, 2009

black bean soup

How's My Parenting?

A Quiz

Read the short blurbs and answer the questions in essay form. Do not turn in the quiz to the Lunch Lady. Grade it and keep the answers to yourself. Thank you.

The poor Middle Carrotstick contracted a case of Strep Throat before Christmas. Thinking I was on top of my game, I got him into the doctor and on antibiotics. Yay me! And then the holidays hit. And somehow, between PB&J and I, we only managed to give him the approved dosage approximately once a day, instead of the requisite twice a day for 10 days. We did throw in a few extra days, hoping it would do the trick and wipe out that nasty bacteria.

How do you think we did?

I'll tell you. Yesterday, PB&J had to run the poor kid back to the doctor, who verified the Strep had resurged, and prescribed the idiot proof shot in the bum.

How do you think the Middle Carrotstick took that news?

I'll tell you. Badly. But lucky for him, his dad was there, and he told him to buck up and be a man (not in those words, but that was the jist of it) and get the shot. Unwilling to disappoint dear old dad, he did it.

Would he have been so obliging if the Lunch Lady had been the parent in charge?

I tell you No. If I had been there, I think he would have dug in his heels and refused to have the shot. And we would have been on to round two of nasty tasting "Medicillin".

How does the Lunch Lady feel when she sees her son walking around rubbing his still-sore bum?

I'll tell you. Bad. Poor kid. What a burden to have such distracted parents. It's a real pain in the buttocks.

So this Good Food Friday, enjoy some South of the Border goodness with

So Much Better than a Shot in the Bum Black Bean Soup

1 lb (2 cups) dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
4 oz ham steak, trimmed of rind
2 dried bay leaves
5 c water
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tsp table salt

3 Tblsp olive oil
2 large onions, chopped fine (about 3 c)
1 large carrot, chopped fine (about ½ c)
3 medium celery ribs, chopped fine (about 1 c)
½ tsp table salt
5-6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 ½ Tblsp)
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 ½ Tblsp ground cumin
6 c low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tblsp cornstarch
2 Tblsp water
2 Tblsp juice from 1 to 2 limes

Lime wedges
Minced fresh cilantro leaves
Finely diced red onion
Diced avocado
Sour cream

Place beans, ham, bay, water, and baking soda in large saucepan with tight-fitting lid. Bring to boil over medium-high heat; using large spoon, skim scum as it rises to surface. Stir in salt, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer briskly until beans are tender, 1 1/4 to 1 ½ hours (if necessary, add another 1 cup water and continue to simmer until beans are tender); do not drain beans. Discard bay. Remove ham steak (ham steak darkens to color of beans), cut into 1/4" cubes, and set aside.

Heat oil in large pan over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking; add onions, carrot, celery, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, pepper flakes, and cumin; cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in beans, beam cooking liquid, and chicken broth. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, then reduce to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 30 minutes.
Ladle 1 ½ c beans and 2 c liquid into food processor blender, process until smooth, and return to pot. Stir together cornstarch and water in small bowl until combined, then gradually stir about half of cornstarch mixture into soup, bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, to fully thicken. If soup is still thinner than desired once boiling, stir remaining cornstarch mixture to recombine and gradually stir mixture into soup; return to boil to fully thicken. Off heat, stir in lime juice and reserved ham; ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately, passing garnishes separately.

This soup is so yummy. How could it be anything but with that list of garnishes? It's all about the garnishes, I tell you. And it comes courtesy of my favorite cooking magazine Cooks Illustrated. Feel free to make and enjoy. And be glad you aren't having a shot of "Medicillin" the same consistency as this soup injected into YOUR South of the Border backcountry.

Happy Friday!


Allyson said...

Cooks Illustrated...I had no idea such a wonder existed! Thanks for another website to waste all my time on. ;)

Kate said...

what a BUMmer. mwahahahaha.

soup looks tasty!

DailyFamily said...

Will you come and narrate my life? I think it would all be so much funnier with you as the author. :)

Shem said...

Last December and January, I too had 2 bouts of Strep Throat (as did my sweetie). I did take all the required meds in the required timeframe and still got it again. I had the shot the second time and vowed never again to take the medicillin.

Once the pain is gone, I think MCS will see how wonderous it truly is!