Black Bean and Roasted Tomatillo soup

Adapted from “Chez Panisse Vegetables” by Alice Waters.

2 cups dried black beans, or 2 15 ounce cans of black beans
4 tomatillos
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 jalapeno pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion

1. Soak beans overnight (if using uncooked beans).  When you are ready to prepare the soup, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Peel the husk from the tomatillos, cut them into fourths, and then toss lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place the quartered tomatillos into an oven-proof dish that is heavy-bottomed and is just big enough to hold them in a single layer.  Roast them in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes, until they are soft.

3. Saute the onions, thinly sliced, and garlic and jalapeno in in a soup pot with the olive oil, salt, and pepper until they are translucent.  If you are cooking raw beans, add the drained beans, 3 quarts of water, and simmer beans until they are very tender (2-3 hours). Otherwise, add canned beans to the onions and garlic, and heat on stove.

4. Pass the soup through a food mill or purée in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Alternatively (this is our favorite method), use a hand held blender to purée the soup in the pot. Add more water, if needed, to make a good soup consistency.

5. When the tomatillos are roasted, puree them in a blender or food processor until smooth. Reheat soup and serve garnished with chopped cilantro leaves.

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