“Many, many moons ago (Boy, that was a long time ago.), I used to frequent this sandwich/bakery shop in Las Vegas. It was popular with the locals. And rightfully so, their food was phenomenal.
There are two things about this place I’m grateful for – my introduction to pesto and black bean soup. And this was during the time when these foods were unheard of in the culinary scene.
We will talk about pesto some other time, for now, back to the black bean soup. Don’t be discouraged by its not so appetizing or enticing appearance. This soup packs some serious flavors. The first time I had it was like a religious experience……heavenly. It was that good, especially when served with the proper fixins. If you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out. Like I always say, “Give the humble beans a chance.”
4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups water
2 cubes beef bouillon
1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed, drained & mashed
1 cup whole kernel corn
2 tablespoons ground cumin
5 dashes hot pepper sauce
Salt to taste
Sour cream, chopped cilantro, avocado slices & lime wedges for garnish
1. Fry the bacon in a skillet over medium high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon bits on a paper towel lined plate, and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings.
2. In a pot, heat reserved bacon drippings, saute garlic and onions. Add carrots, celery, tomatoes, water and bouillon cubes. Let boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add bacon bits, corn and mashed black beans. Season with cumin, hot sauce and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low; simmer for 15 minutes more.
4. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add water if the consistency is too thick for your liking.
5. Ladle soup into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream, chopped cilantro, avocado slices and a lime wedge.