We’re still figuring out how to not have our entire house smell like whatever we’re cooking. In the meantime, this requires only 3 “ingredients” that you definitely have around your house right now, works fantastically well in covering up cooking smells, and makes your home smell totally delicious.
DIY ROOM FRESHENER
– 1 lemon, cut into pretty thin slices
– couple of springs of rosemary
– approx. 1 tbsp. of vanilla extract
1. Fill a saucepan with water. Add the lemons, rosemary & vanilla.
2. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. The water will evaporate in a cloud of amazing smell over the course of the next 2 hours or so. Keep an eye on the pot every now and then so the water doesn’t completely evaporate. Breathe deep and enjoy.
There are a ton of recipes for making a black bean soup with dried beans that you soak overnight, turning an hour-long process into at least a 12-hour one. I love black bean soup, but I really love the fact that you can throw this recipe together using canned black beans, and have a great, flavorful, one-pot meal in almost no time at all. Red bell peppers, red onions, cilantro, lime & garlic combine with the canned black beans & chicken broth, then are finished by roughly blending it all together. A dollop of lime & cumin-infused sour cream adds the perfect amount of creaminess to this, too. Don’t be scared by the 4 tablespoons (!!! I know) of cumin in this soup as a flavoring. Cumin is great for you – tons of health benefits from liver detoxification to metabolism acceleration. If you’re not a fan of the spice, though, I’d probably cut this back to 2 tablespoons for a less noticeable flavor.
Happy first day of Spring!
BLACK BEAN SOUP WITH LIME & CUMIN-INFUSED SOUR CREAM (makes approx. 10-12 bowls of soup)
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– 1 red bell pepper, diced
– 2 red onions, diced
– 3 cans black beans (I can’t recommend buying Eden Organic products enough, if you can find them. They’re truly organic, use BPA-free cans, etc. Totally worth the relatively minimal extra cost.), rinsed and drained
– 4 tbsp. ground cumin
– 3 garlic cloves, minced
– 1/3 C. fresh cilantro, chopped
– juice of 1 lime
– 1.5 – 2 C. chicken broth (depending on how thick or thin you like your soup)
– 1.5 – 2 C. water (same note as above)
– Kosher salt & pepper
LIME & CUMIN-INFUSED SOUR CREAM
– zest of 1/2 a lime
– 1/3 C. sour cream
– juice of 1/2 a lime
– 1 tbsp. cumin
1. Dice your onions & your bell pepper.
2. Over medium high heat in a Le Creuset French Oven, heat 1 tbsp. EVOO. Add diced bell pepper & onions, and sautee until they start to brown, approx. 10 minutes.
3. Add 4 tbsp cumin & 3 minced garlic cloves, stir until fragrant.
4. Add 3 cans rinsed and drained black beans, stir everything to combine.
5. Add water just to cover – either 1.5 – 2 C, depending on how thick or thin you like your soup. Then add 1.5 – 2 C. chicken broth, too. Pacific makes a great 4-pack of 1-cup servings of chicken and vegetable broth, and they too are “truly” organic, as well as supporters of regulations for GMO labeling (hurraugh).
6. Bring soup just to a boil, then cover and simmer for approx. 30 minutes. Uncover, then add 1 tbsp. salt, 15 grinds of black pepper, juice of 1 lime (I used our new Rosle Citrus Reamer/Juicer again, which is the greatest thing ever), and the chopped cilantro. Stir & let simmer for another 10 minutes.
7. At this point, blend it with an Immersion Hand Blender. You can taste it before you do, but I wouldn’t recommend it, because it’ll just taste like bean water (“hot ham water” – Lindsey Bluth). I roughly blend this, because I like the end result to be a little chunkier, but blend it to whatever consistency you’d like. Taste, then adjust seasonings. Cover again, leave on low heat, and make your lime & cumin-infused sour cream.
8. Easy-peasy: combine sour cream, cumin, lime juice, lime zest. Taste and adjust. This will keep well in the refrigerator over the next couple of days to top off your bowls of soup.
9. Ladle a bowl of soup, top with a dollop of sour cream, mix & enjoy. Overnight, this will get thicker & blend the flavors together – like so many soups, it’s good today, but will be great tomorrow. So will the sour cream.